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Jacques de Morgan 

Former Director-General of the Egyptian 

Department of Archaeology and former General 

Delegate in Persia of the French 

Ministry of Education 


From the Remotest Times 
to the Present Day 


of the Academy of Ancient 

Monuments and of Literature 

Victrix causa diis placult, 
sed victa Catoni. 

(Lucan, Pharsala, L 128) 

Illustrated With 296 Maps, Plans, and Documentary Sketches 

by the Author. 

Translated by 


YRL ^ 


To youy Armenians, I dedicate this book, in memory 
of those happy days of my youth spent in your picturesque 
mountain villages, in your enchanting forests, among your 
fiower-spangled meadows all glistening in the beautiful 
Eastern sunshine. 

May this story of the deeds of your forefathers bring 
to your thought the dauntless and upright men of the past 
who have bequeathed you their nobility of heart and their 
unconquerable love of national freedom, and remind you 
of your ancient lineage, one of the most ancient among 
the illustrious peoples of the earth, also of the twenty-five 
hundred years that your fathers have valiantly struggled 
to uphold the honor of your great Hdik. 

May this dedication recall to some among you the 
traveler who found such charm in your delightful 
country-side, in the silvery laughter of your children, the 
happy songs of your shepherds, your village festivals, the 
zourna of your country-folk, and the singing of your 

O martyred people! may you, by the time this book 
appears, see the dawn of your final day of freedom: may 
you with your poet Tchobanian sing: 

Behold the fire springing anew from out the night; 
The redding glow of the mountain tops; 

« • • 

'Tis the sweetest hour of all, 

the lovely reawakening to Life! 


During this seemingly endless war, the worst ever to 
afflict mankind, Armenia has undoubtedly been the most unfortunate 
of all lands, the most racked and tortured, more so even than Belgium, 
more so than Serbia! Victim of the frightful massacres by the 
Turks, subjected to the crudest horrors, partly delivered by the Rus- 
sians and then woefully abandoned by them, Armenia has seen her 
fine and industrious rural population decimated to an unthinkable ex- 
tent through a most abominable series of slaughters. Not only is she 
the unhappiest of nations, but no national history is so little known 
as is hers, despite the fact that this history was once so famous. 
The reason for this is that for several centuries Armenia has been 
constantly held down beneath the most unbearable of servitudes, the 
bloody Ottoman yoke. In our western civilization hardly any but a 
very few scholars know the early history of the Armenians, those 
ancient and medieval times when this then warlike race played a most 
important role in the hinterland of the Eastern world, first the Roman 
and then the Christian. 

A few noble-minded men of this long and sorely tried na- 
tion, along with some French friends devoted to their cause, felt it 
urgent to bring Armenia's hitherto neglected history to the 
knowledge of the general French public and that of our Allies, through 
a published work of high standing and practical value. This they deemed 
one of the best ways to interest the world, and France in particular, in 
the salvation of so worthy a people. These friends of Armenia, choos- 
ing as spokesman one of the best among them, the great patriot Archag 
Tchobanian, kindly asked my advice as to whom they should appeal to 
carry out this difficult task. One name came at once to my thought, 
that of my friend Jacques de Morgan, the intrepid explorer, the 
scholarly and enthusiastic traveler and great archaeologist, renowned 
for his excavations at Susa and in Egypt. No one is better acquainted 

with the vast regions around Armenia, and with Armenia itself, which 
he has traveled over more than anyone. No one has more carefully 
studied the mysterious beginnings and the history of those races that 
settled over the magnificent lands south of the Caucasus. Many years 
of incessant labor had impaired his health, yet when upon my advice 
my Armenian friends asked him to write the history of their nation 
and to compass its glorious but forgotten annals in a volume of strik- 
ing interest, to be widely disseminated in behalf of this sacred cause, he 
at once accepted, despite his poor health and comparative reclusion. 
He set to work immediately, happy to be able still to serve the sublime 
cause of oppressed peoples. In two years of ardent labor he completed 
this important work, of such great interest to a vast public so lacking 
in knowledge about Armenia. I have been done the great honor of 
being asked to write a few introductory lines to this volume. For this 
honor I am perhaps indebted to my own works on the Crusades and 
Byzantine history, in which I so often had to refer to the valorous 
deeds in the East of the illustrious Armenian race. "This is the first 
time," wrote Jacques de Morgan to me,, "that I am not writing the pre- 
face myself to one of my books!" I accepted, however, this pleasurable 
task, with the stated intention of writing briefly, not to re-introduce to 
the public my friend Morgan already so well known, but if possible to 
draw the further attention of all the allied nations to the unhappy 
Armenian people and to the abominable injustice they have endured 
for centuries. 

I fondly hope that very many French people, and very many of 
our allies, will read this admirable and clear outline, so understand- 
ingly set forth, of the history of Armenia, a history of centuries of 
valor, of energy, and of suffering, lived under the shadow of the two 
mountains of Ararat, the giants that tower over the land. For my part, 
I feel that of all the different periods of this people's constantly sub- 
lime and tragic history, none offers more interest than that of the 
Armenian nation during the Crusades and the large part their doughty 
sovereigns took by the side of the Latin princes for the cause of 
Christendom overseas. I wish this splendid volume the very great suc- 
cess it deserves. May it contribute, upon the final victory now so near, 
towards the entry of Armenia, freed from the unbearable Turkish yoke, 
into the rightful and definite place to which she is entitled in the future 
Society of Nations! 

September, 1918. 


To my friend Gustave Schlumberger, member of the Institute of 
France, the eminent Byzantinist, and to the great Armenian poet Archag 
Tchobanian, I am indebted for the idea of writing this history of Armenia. 
It was with some hesitation that I undertook so bold and, I do not mind 
saying, arduous task. Arduous on account of the multiplicity and un- 
fortunate tangle of sources of information, and of the fact that these are 
available so often only in Armenian, a fact that closed to me a number 
of doors. However, at my friends' urgent request. I set about the work, and 
endeavored to write a history which should be within the range of all 
readers without departing from the strict limits of accurate scholarship. 
At the same time I crave the reader's indulgence because for many rea- 
sons outside the author's will it is necessarily incomplete. For one thing, 
the storehouses of data in the libraries of Russia, the Caucasus, and Con- 
stantinople, are not at my disposal, and also there is so much written in 
languages I do not know and not yet translated, consequently unavail- 
able. As for archaeological material, it is practically non-existent. In Rus- 
sian Armenia the excavations which I began in 1887-88 were subsequently 
forbidden by the Imperial Government, and have hardly yet been re- 
sumed by a Russian Commission, — whilst in Turkish Armenia due to the 
innumerable difficulties raised by the Ottoman government no searches 
have been attempted beyond a few excavations of small extent at Van. 
We arc consequently obliged to fall back, so far as the earliest periods are 
concerned, on the statements of classical Greek and Latin authors, minus 
any archaeological support. 

As with the history of all Oriental peoples, especially in the Middle 
Ages, the annals of Armenia are extremely complex. The interlaced events 
are not only intimately related to the evolution of the peoples of Asia, but 
also frequently depend on the politics of western nations; so that one 
must often deal with general history to explain the cause and effect of 
purely Armenian happenings. As for the facts themselves, the relevant 

— 9 — 

documents are in most cases very widely scattered, spread among the 
histories and chronicles of foreign nations. They had to be discovered, dis- 
cussed, and compared, — a task frequently difficult, they being often nar- 
rated differently by the various chroniclers. 

As early as 1889 / was interested in Armenian history, and I made a 
brief incursion into this interesting subject in a volume entitl ediMlssion 
scientifique au Caucase, fitudes archeologlques et historiques. Tome II. 
Recherches sur les origines des peuples du Caucase, But, as the title shows, 
this research was not restricted to the Armenians, and the history of 
Armenia was only included in its main aspects, my attention being more 
particularly directed to the questions as to the origins of the Kartvelian 

Nevertheless, I had examined the matter of Armenia very carefully 
both as regards its records and the character of the Armenian people, whom 
I knew from having lived a long time among them. These are the reasons 
why Messrs. G. Schlumberger and A. Tchobanian urged me to write, and 
why 1 yielded to their wishes. 

Moreover, in the present circumstances, writing a history of Armenia 
is not only in the interests of science, biit it is fulfilling a duty to humanity, 
to a people far too little known, remembered only for its woes, and de- 
serving of a happier destiny. 

During the nearly thirty years that have elapsed since my book on 
the Caucasus appeared, numerous works have dealt with the question of 
the Armenian people's first beginnings, for the study of mankind's earliest 
times has actively engaged mens thoughts and the Armenians have not 
been left out in these investigations. However, a few books in particular a/re 
specially to be commended for the safe scientific method their authors 
have followed; they all reach the same cojiclusions from different view- 
points. A. MEILLET, in his Grammaire comparee de rArmenien clas- 
sique (1903), deduces from his analysis of the language irrefutable proofs 
of the Indo-European origin of the people; Messrs. Noel DOLENS and 
A. KHATCH in their Histoire des anciens Armeniens (1907) and M. 
Kevork ASIAN in his fitudes sur le Peuple armenien (1909) all vigorously 
espouse and clarify my own arguments of 1889, and so dispose of the 
main problem. 

While I was finally reviewing the manuscript of the present History 
of the Armenian People, there appeared (1917) in Rome a book of some 
importance by J. SANDALGIAN, Histoire documentaire de I'Armenie des 
temps du paganisme, in which the writer arrives at conclusions contrary 

— 10 — 

to those of MeUlet, N. Dolens, A. Khatch, and K. Asian. Unfortunately 
the author of this voluminous work has accepted deceiving etymological 
analogies that have led him astray from scientific conclusions. 

The sources of Armenian history are very numerous; they divide 
naturally into three classes, according to the periods. The chronicles 
of the Ararat region go back to very remote antiquity. The first events 
there are related in the Ninivite inscriptions and in those of Urartu (Van), 
but antedate considerably the arrival of the Armenians on the plateau 
of Erzerum. To discuss the peoples conquered amd assimilated by the 
later arrivals would be to take up the history of Western Asia from 
the ISth or lOth centuries B.C., thus going outside the framework of this 
volume. The reader will find in the Histoire ancienne des Peuples de 
rOrient, by G. MASPERO, and in my Premieres Civilisations, all the 
guidance he may desire on these questions; I shall therefore deal with 
them only indirectly. 

Regarding the very earliest times of the Armenians, we have in 
the West: the Achaemenian inscriptions of Behistun, {published and 
translated by J. OPPERT), HERODOTUS, the narratives of XENO- 
PHON, and the traditions handed down to us by PLINY, STRABO, and 
PTOLEMY; also in the East, the writings of MOSES of KHOREN with 
a few passages from other Eastern authors. 

As we enter the Alexandrian era we are more abundantly documented, 
for both Greek and Latin writers tell us, chiefly during the Seleucidan 
period, of the wars tvaged by the Senate of the Eternal City against the 
rulers of Syria, Pontus, and Armenia. ARRIAN, DIODORUS OF 
only for data on the Seleucidan period but also for our knowledge of events 
in the Parthian era. These Western writers enable us to verify and fill in 
the statements left us by AGANTHANGELUS, by MOSES OF 
KHOREN, and other Eastern authors, whose relation of happenings 
they did not witness are often questionable. 

During the time of the Roman Empire, when the legions were con- 
stantly fighting the Arsacid Persians and waging war in Armenia, the 
various emperors caused coins to be struck commemorating the chief 
political or military events in the East. These coins are sometimes very 
useful in accurately establishing dates. 

Unfortunately not a single one remains of the many historical works 

— 11 — 

that were written in the Pehlevi language under the Sassanid kings. For 
that period our chief sources are Armenian, Syrian, Latin, and Greek, 
'most important authorities. 

For the time of the Bagratides dynasty we come to MATTHEW 
torians MAKRISI and IBN-AL-ATHYR, along with others, and the 
Greek chroniclers CEDRENUS, ZONARAS, GLYCAS, etc. 

In writing the history of Armeno-Cilicia (New Armenia), I have 
drawn mainly on Historiens des Croisades, documents armeniens, by E. 
DULAURIER, and on Sissouan, by L. ALISHAN. 

Finally, for modern times, I have consulted the books and numerous 
pamphlets published of late years, such as: A. J. TOYNBEE, The Murder 
of a Nation; A. TCHOBANIAN, Chants populaires armeniens (Intro- 
duction), I'Armenie sous le joug turc; Les publications du Comite armenien 
d'Angleterre, de New York; E. DOUMERGUE, L'Armenie, les Mas- 
sacres et la Question d'Orient, K. J. BASMADJIAN, Histoire modeme 
des Armeniens; Viscount BRYCE, The Treatment of Armenians in the 
Ottoman Empire, 1915-1916; Marcel LEAPT, La Question armenienne 
a la lumiere des documents, etc. 

To these special works should be added some writings of a mor\e 
general nature, such as: H.F.B. LYNCH, Armenia; MICHAEL 
CHAMICH, History of Armenia; Fr. TOURNEBISE, Histoire politique 
et rellgieuse de I'Armenie; Viscount BRYCE, Transcaucasia and Ararat; 
Noel and Harold BUXTON, Travels and Politics in Armenia; Reinhold 
ROH RIGHT, Geschichte des Konigreichs Jerusalem; SAINT-MARTIN, 
Memoires sur I'Armenie; No'el DO LENS and A. KHATCH, Histoire des 
anciens Armeniens, Geneva, 1907; KEVORK ASLAN, fitudes historiques 
sur le peuple armenien, Paris 1909; id., L'Armenie et les Armeniens, 
Constantinople, 1914. 

As regards chronology, I have made use of the very thorough work 
by K. J. BASMADJIAN, Chronologie de I'Histoire de I'Armenie, and 
in my survey of religious questions, I have in addition to the above works 
taken largely from the article of R. JANIN in Les echos d'Orient: Les 
Armeniens, also L'figlise armenienne by Mgr. M. ORMANIAN. 

— 12 — 

Finally, the writing and valuable advice of A. Tchobanian have 
been my main source in acquainting my readers with Armenian litera- 
ture and poetry. 

Besides these main sources I have also consulted a large number 
of scattered documents in various reviews and newspapers. 

My acquaintance with the country and with Eastern life has been 
moreover very helpful to me me in compiling this work, enabling me 
often to understand the cause and effect of events. Writing a history has 
meant going into innumerable details, but in regard to each principal 
period I have striven to show the main lines of the evolution of the 
Armenian people and their relation to the outside world at each period, 
for from the remotest times Armenia by reason of its geographical posi- 
tion had a very large role to play in the outlook of the major powers 
concerning Western Asia. 

The reader will perhaps be often puzzled by the seemingly uncouth 
names and places in the volume. These I have had to use, however, for 
we must not forget that throughout the centuries we have here to deal 
with strictly Oriental nomenclatures, in the Armenian, Arabic, ancient 
and modern Persian, Turkish, Kurdish, and Georgian languages. These 
names, so strange to European ears, become much simpler when their 
meaning is known. Vagharschapat, for instance, means "built by Val- 
arsace;" Sarkis is "Sergius"; Karapet, "forerunner"; Alagheuz, "blue 
eye"; Arpa-tchai, "barley river" ; Gheuk-tchai, "blue river"; while Vram- 
chapouh is the Armenian pronunciation of the Persian (Sassanides) 
double name Varahran-C hapour (Sapor) ; and so on. Sometimes also the 
names assume the most varied forms; George I, king of Iberia {Georgia) 
becomes, according to different writers and countries, Gorige, Korke, 
Keorke, Keorki, Giorgi, Korike, Kourken. Therefore the sounds I have 
had to keep to, in^ order to preserve the linguistic character of proper 
names, should not look too formidable. Their use was unavoidable. 

The geography of Western Asia is not generally known beyond its 
main outlines, and here again the reader will be confronted with un- 
avoidable difficulties. But they have been mine also, for they have neces- 
sitated much research on my part, the forms which the geographical 
names assume being so numerous. Erzerum of the Turks, or Qaliqala, is 
the Theodosiopolis of the Byzantines ; the Armenians call it Karin. The 
kingdom of Albania is A ghouania, the Aghouanq of the Armenians ; 
Azerbaidjan of the Turks and Persians is Atrpatakan in Armenian, 
Atropatenes in Greek, not to speak of its names in Achaemenian and 

— 13 — 

Pehlevi. But, for the reader's guidance, I have generally indicated in foot- 
notes the names most commonly found on current maps, and have not 
hesitated to repeat myself occasionally to save having to turn back to pre- 
ceding pages; and in addition I have illustrated m,y text with a large 
number of maps drawn most carefully by myself, containing just the data 
needed for each particular period. 

Though the reader probably knows the history of the principal 
Asiatic peoples, I have referred to their chief historical events and dates 
wherever I have thought it helpful to clarify the story. No one is expected 
to know the order of succession of the Caliphs, or the Sassanid kings of 
Persia, any more than that of the Byzantine emperors; and as for his- 
torical concordances, they are even less known, and ignorance in these 
connections is definitely excusable. I must confess, moreover, very frankly 
that had I to read the history of China, I should be grateful if the author 
explained to me innumerable details of geography, language, and chron- 

To give more color to my narrative of subjects and events so un- 
familiar to European readers, I have illustrated my text with all the in- 
teresting documentation I have been able to obtain, such as coins, seals, 
autographs, signatures of rulers, coats of arms, archaeological objects, 
ruins of castles and towns, the most notable structural remains^ etc. I 
have added topographical plans and sketches, all from the most varied 
sources, and I have made it my care to draw all these illustrations myself 
and to prepare the drafts for the map-specialist. In my published scien- 
tific works I have always avoided so far as possible relying on professional 
draughtsmen for my illustrations, because despite their skill they do not 
attain to the absolute documentary accuracy needed to convey the author's 
exact purpose. My illustrations , it is true, are far from the professional 
perfection of a skilled draughtsman, but I trust the reader will overlook 
this as he realizes the truly scientific character of my documentation. 
In the appendix to this volume will be found chronological tables. 
I have thus endeavored to assist in every way possible the perusal of 
this book, and I hope, as I commit it to press, that it will acquaint very 
many people with the background and glorious history of a nation of 
whom so little is knozvn beyond the fact of its long martyrdom, under the 
Turkish yoke. These pages will show the world how little the Armenian 
people deserved the terrible fate that has hitherto been their cruel lot. 

— 14 

The two Ararats, as seen from the valley of the Araxes 


Physical features of Armenia — Geography — Generalities 

In the regions of Ararat, in that land of mystery in 
ARARAT which earliest tradition locates our nebulous human origin, 
the Armenians have dwelt for about twenty-five centuries. 
In this mountain mass, in this welter of great peaks, the Armenian people 
planted themselves, on this soil they became a nation. But the land was 
already sacred, a land renowned to the peoples of ancient times, for to 
their religious sentiment this was the scene of mankind's rebirth following 
the most awful cataclysm that through the dim corridor of memory has 
remained in the minds of men through countless generations. 

In the imagination of the ancients, Ararat seemed a wonder, the work 
of a supernatural power, and the colossus became sacred, the abode of 
genii known as "Dragon's Sons." (1) Its snowy summit was associated 
with the dim memories of forgotten ages, with stories enhanced by tradi- 
tion, and Ararat, the work of divine hands, stood in contrast to that other 
fabulous tower which mortals had sought in vain to build to heaven. Such 
power and grandeur, such commanding poetry, emanate from the volcano's 

(1) Vichapaznnk. 

15 — 

majesty, that simple minds have ever been struck with overwhelming awe 
and admiration in the presence of this natural wonder, when in the 
midst of the night's darkness, the Giant's summit shines forth in all its 
luminous glory. This is the moment when Ararat, the messenger of the 
powers of heaven, announces to men that the God of Zoroaster is getting 
ready to cause his golden disk to rise upon the old world. The Masis (1) 
is the wonder mountain of Western Asia, towering over, crushing all 
around It, seeming to have been forged by Vulcan to discomfit the soul of 
the beholder. 

When towards the east the sky Is aglow with the fires that herald 
the dawn, while all Armenia Is still slumbering deep in darkness, a blood- 
colored patch appears in the cloud, bright as the steel aglow on the black- 
smith's anvil. Slowly this patch spreads, lengthens, and takes the form of 
the sharp-pointed head of a giant arrow, directed threateningly to heaven. 
This is the snowy peak of Great Ararat, made crimson by the first rays 
of the sun, while the orb Itself, still hidden to mortals, announces its com- 
ing by the gleams It sheds in the cloud beyond the Black Mountains. (2) 
Only the Giant's summit is lit with the ardent glow of dawn: it seems to 
melt and pass slowly away while Phoebus' chariot rises on the horizon. 

To the left of the Giant rises another peak, lower but just as sharp 
in outline, and also bathed in blood, namely, the Lesser Ararat. It like- 
wise Is touched by the first glows of daylight, and this vision, evocative of 
the time when the two craters together belched forth flames and lava (3), 
soon disappears. Then, towards the west, there comes soon into view the 
summit of another extinct volcano, the brother of the two 

Ararats, the Alagheuz (4) whose eternal snow ap- 
THE ALAGHEUZ pears pink in the now azured sky and stands out 

against the dark huddle of the mountains of West- 
CD Name given by the Armenians to Ararat, the Arghi-dagh of the Turks, the 
Kouh-i-Nouh (mountain of Noah's ark) of the Persians. 

(2) The Qara-dagh and the Qara-bagh. 

(3) In Turkish: Ala-gheuz (Blue Eye) ; in Armenian: Aragadz. 

(4) The table-land of Iran and that of Erzeroum emerged at the end of the 
tertiary period, together with the volcanoes (Ararat, Alagheuz, Lelwar, etc; Savalan, 
Sahend, Demavend, etc.) During the latter part of this geological period (Plaisan- 
cian), Azerbaidjan and the adjoining regions, not yet raised, enjoyed a climate similar 
to that of the present tropical zones, and maintained the elephant, the rhinoceros, 
and all the animals of warm and moist lands (fossU fauna of Maragha). At the 
end of the Pliocene period the raised surfaces were formed, and during the qua- 
ternary period, Iran, Armenia, and the Caucasus were covered with snow. Ihe 
volcanoes remained active long after their fi"teruPtions and lasted perhaps until 
men peopled these regions freed from snow. (Cf. J. DE MORGAN, Les Premieres 
Civilisations, p. 57 sq., 91 sq., 164 sq.) . 

— 16 — 

ern Armenia. Gradually, hundreds of peaks come out of the darkness, 
announcing to every valley the coming of Day, while shadow and morning 
mist still surround the whole Araxes plain, including Erivan, the ancient 
town founded by King Ervand, and Etchmiadzin, the holy city of the 
Armenians. In the distance are heard the church bells ringing the Angelus, 
the bleating of herds leaving the villages, the singing of shepherds, the 
barking of dogs: Armenia is awaking to return to its daily labors in its 
fertile fields. 

Now the sun pours its joyous smile on the workers who have been up 
before dawn, dispels the shades of the mist, tinges with blue the light 
smoke hovering over the villages, and sends forth its waves of warmth. 
Women clad in blue or red, carrying a jar on head or shoulder, come out 
chattering from their houses of yellow clay, while the men, wearing heavy 
sheepskin caps like the Tartars, come and go, take the horses to water, 
and lead the oxen to the plow. Heedless of Nature's awakening, they sing, 
chant love-songs or old legends preserved by the minstrels, and do not 
even look at the Giant majestically standing beyond the plain, an object 
of admiration for the traveler, but of no concern to the countryman who 
has seen it ever since he was born. 

Ararat (1) whose summit stands in the clouds like an immense reg- 
ular cone, is over 13,000 feet (2) higher than the waters of the Araxes. Its 
barren sides, burned and furrowed by lava outflows, incline abruptly 
downward in slopes covered with crumbling scoria and fragments of vol- 
canic bombs. No abutment, no minor mountain, hides the Giant's base 
to take away from its grandeur. It stands in isolation, as though it had 
risen at one thrust from the bowels of the earth by the force of an al- 
mighty fiat. Beside it stands the Lesser Ararat which, despite its tre- 
mendous stature (3) gives one the impression of a child alongside its 
father, waiting on his orders. About twelve miles, as the crow flies, is 
the distance to the top of the Great Ararat from the bed of the Araxes; 
consequently the mountain seems to crush with all its weight the valley 
of Erivan: a sight unequaled, if not in the universe, at least in the Old 
World. For Mont-Blanc (4), Kazbek (5), Demavend (6), Everest (7), 
and almost all the highest summits in our own lands, rise from huge bases 


(5) 16,545 ft. 

(6) 19,950 ft. 

(7) 29,000 ft. 














— 17 — 

surrounded by large peaks, so that much of their majesty is lost to the 
spectator. The Elburz Mountain (8) alone, seen from the Russian steppes, 
appears in all its magnificence, although resting on an enormous pedestal. 
To the south of Armenia, in the Kurdish chain forming the border 
of Iran, are numerous heights varying from 13,000 to 16,500 feet, but all 
these peaks are enclosed among very high mountains, so that they are lost 
in the ensemble of that gigantic wall and never drew the attention 
of the early inhabitants: Zagros (1) overlooking Bagdad, Zerd e Kouh (2) 
the snow of which is seen from everywhere in Susiana, have not played 
in popular imagination the part they should. Demavend alone, among 
these ancient civilizations, Demavend, the "Mountain of the Genii," 
is comparable to Ararat as regards the impression made on the 
traveler. But although this peak is about 3,330 feet higher than the Ar- 
menian volcano, it does not strike one so forcibly because it stands in the 
middle of the Elburz, a chain higher than the Alps. Ararat itself when 
viewed fro mthe south, from Khoi or Bayazid, does not give that feeling of 
grandeur one has when looking at it from Erivan or Vagharchapat. (3) 

Ararat rises in the centre of Greater Armenia; it overlooks on the 
east the region of Lake Urumiah, (4) the Atropatenes of the ancients (5), 
on the south the region of Lake Van (6), the Urartu (7), on the west and 
south-west the watersheds of the Tigris, the Euphrates, and the Araxes, 
rivers whose names are linked with that of the cradle of mankind. The 
Masis reigns over these celebrated regions, just as the Kazbek does over the 
two slopes of the great Caucasian wall, as the Demavend is seen over the 
Caspian Sea and the land of the Iranians, and as the great peaks of the 
Himalayas stand supreme between the frozen tablelands of Tibet and the 
rich plains of India. 

In all lands, the sight of giant mountains has always aroused mystical 
feelings in peoples' souls, and just as Fuji-yama is sacred to the Japanese, 
and Mt. Olympus became the abode of the Greek gods, so in our time 
Ararat is still a holy site both to Christians and Moslems. Even prior to 

(8) 18.525 ft. 

(1) Delaho Konh in southern Kurdistan. 

(2) In the country of the Bakthyaris. 

(3) Etchmiadzin, founded and built by King Valarsace (Vagharchak) . 

(4) Alt. 4,000 ft. 

(5) Azerbadjan 

(6) 5.400 ft. 

(7) The Ararat of the Bible is the same name as Oarartsa in Assyrian. 

— 18 — 

the arrival of the Armenian Haik in the region, the volcano was undoubt- 
edly deified by the people dwelling under its shadow. (8) 

As always happens to the heritage of peoples for many centuries de- 
prived of political independence, Armenia is today without precisely 
defined frontiers, both in its districts ruled by the Czar and those in 
Persian or Ottoman territory. Tifiis, in ancient times the capital of the 
kings of Karthli, (1) contains today many Armenian families, and so do 
Maku, Batum, Trebizond, etc. In ancient times, as in the Middle Ages, 
during the different periods of Armenian independence, the frontiers of 
Greater and Lesser Armenia were exceedingly unsettled; nevertheless, 
as regards the Transcaucasian regions, the mountains to the south 
of the Kura river should be considered as belonging to the Armenian 
domain, while the valley of the Cyrus (2) keeps its Georgian nationality. 

Not many years ago, the traveler going from Tiflis (3) to Erivan (4), 
used to cross the highest and most picturesque part of the massif of the 
Lesser Caucasus. After leaving the capital of Karthli, he first followed 
down the Cyrus right bank; then, leaving the Georgian river at its junc- 
tion with the Akstafa-tcha'i, he ascended the valley of the latter torrent as 
far as the village of Delidjan, inside the northern districts of Armenia. 
There, at the mountain pass near the village, he left behind the Kura 
watershed and entered into that of the Araxes. Then, along the shore 
of the great Transcaucasian lake (5), he reached Yelenovka, a small 
Russian village from where one goes down to Erivan by the valley of the 
Zenghi-tchai (6), the river feeding the Araxes from the lake's overflow. 

This journey from Akstafa to Erivan, formerly undertaken by car- 
riage, was one of the most delightful drives one could take among 
the picturesque mountains of the Lesser Caucasus. The road, today very 
neglected, winds amid wild and endlessly changing scenery. Sometimes 

(8) Near the natural deposits of volcanic glass at the foot of the Alagheuz, I 
found locations of cut obsidian that must be ascribed to neolithic workmanship. 
Some of the objects belong apparently, however, to the quaternary (Magdalenian) 
period; these are the oldest traces of man in this region, which in the glacial period 
was certainly not inhabited, any more than was the whole of the Iran plateau, or 
the tablelands of Armenia and Transcaucasia. 

(1) Native name for Georgia. 

(2) Ancient name for the river Kara. 

(3) Alt. 1,475 ft. 

(4) Alt. 2.800 ft. 

(5) Cheuk-tchai in Turkish, Goktcha in Russian, Sevan in Armenian. Alt. 6^30. 

(6) River Zangui in Armenian. 

19 — 

it climbs forest-covered slopes, then it slips through bare rocks, or creeps 
along the foot of basaltic cliffs, of many-hued lava-flows, of swollen 
scoria or beds of black red-veined obsidian, the volcanic glass sparkling 
in the sunlight. Further on it sinks into deep and forbidding gorges 
brightened only by the bubbling waters of countless torrents, and now 
and then, fastened like an eagle's nest to the mountain-side, there appears 
a village of clay dwellings terraced with beaten earth and inhabited by 
hospitable farm folk, mostly Armenians. Apart from this road, or 
"causeway" as the Russians call it, there are only mule-paths from village 
to village, just as in the Middle Ages and in the earliest times. 

Lake Sevanga (1), one of the largest and finest 

THE in the Old World, the fresh blue water of which is ever 

GHEUK-TCHAI transparent, is about 44 miles long and 19 at its 

OR SEVANGA widest point. An amphitheatre of verdant mountains, 

rising over 3,000 feet high, encircles it and feeds it 

from a thousand streams, watering the many villages on its shore. The 

lakeside dwellers live off their crops and to a lesser extent off their fishing, 

for the Gheuk-tchai is very deep and well-stocked, being noted for its fine 


During the summer the Sevanga region is delightfully cool and the 
countryside rich and smiling, but as soon as the cold sets in and the north 
wind strips the trees, the land situated as it is over 6,000 feet above sea- 
level is covered with a thick pall of snow, the surface of the freshwater lake 
Is ice-bound, and the peasant stays inside his village. The herds go under- 
ground, while around every dwelling, underneath the snow, stand piles 
of wood, argols (manure-fuel), and straw needed to weather the frosts. 
The village is as though dead, for four or five months of the year. All 
is buried under the great white shroud, and the site of the locality is in- 
distinguishable save for the light wreaths of smoke that seem to issue 
from the frozen bowels of the earth. 

In the days of the carriage-drive from Tiflis to Erivan, should the 
traveler arriving from Tchoubouqlou and Yelenovka be fortunate enough 
to reach the village of Akhta a few moments ere the break of dawn, he 
was met with the awe-inspiring spectacle of Ararat ablaze, a scene which 
would remain with him as the most marvelous human eye could witness. 
But this wonderful road is today forsaken, now that a prosaic railroad 

(1) Lake Sevan, formerly called Lake Cegham. 

— 20 — 

links the capital of Georgia to that of Azerbaidjan via Alexandropol and 
Erivan. Progress has swept along these enchanting mountains, and the 
wayfarer no longer sees Lake Sevanga, he no longer witnesses the sunrise 
over Ararat, nor does he now behold the awful gorges of Dariall (2), nor 
the glaciers of the Kazbak, the monarch of the Caucasus, now that the 
"Grouzinskeaya-daroga" is no more the great thoroughfare between the 
northern steppes and Transcaucasia. 

The Imperial government has laid down some roads in the Armenian 
mountains, but these roads have nearly all been built for political or 
strategic reasons, and the bulk of the country has still to put up with its 
old-time means of communication. However much one may regret this 
from a commercial standpoint, it is quite an advantage as regards the pres- 
ervation of the ancestral traditions, customs, sentiments, and language of 
the inhabitants, and it is due to this isolation that Armenian communities 
have been able to keep intact their national spirit. Secluded in their 
deep valleys, amidst their forests, and surrounded by often impassible 
heights, these mountaineers live happily, richly endowed by nature, and 
seldom leave their natal roof, unless it be for a pilgrimage to Etchmiadzin, 
This secluded existence, this life away from the world, is the lot of all 
Eastern peasants; consequently one finds among them family sentiment 
far more strongly developed than it is among our own country-people, who 
are losing it more and more under outside influences. 

The Araxes, which is fed by the streams of the 
THE ARAXES southern slopes of the Little Caucasus and runs at 
the foot of Ararat, is the great river of northern 
Armenia. It takes its rise in the mountains overlooking the east of 
Erzerum (1), 9 miles from that city. Its waters come down from 
Palandeukendagh (2) and Karghabazar-dagh (3), mountains belonging 
to the divide between the versants of the Persian Gulf and the Caspian 
Sea, for it is near Erzerum that the western Euphrates itself takes its 

Not so far along its course the Araxes is joined by a larger tributary 
than itself, the Pasin-sou, which comes down from a fertile but cold and 
bare tableland, recently made famous by the victories of the Russian 
army over the Turks. 

(2) The "Gate of the Alans" of the ancients. 

(1) Theodosiopolis of the Greeks and Romans, Garin of the Armenians. 

(2) Alt. 10,335 ft. 

(3) Alt. 8,300 ft. 

— 21 — 

Leaving these gloomy solitudes, the Araxes makes its way through a 
labyrinth of mountains, for the most part wooded, and flows to the 
east in a dashing torrent, the muddy waters of which rush through deep 
gorges, fall in cascades, and thus drop 5,000 feet before reaching the 
plain of Erivan. On this plain, in a vastly wider valley, the river re- 
ceives a number of tributaries from the northern mountains, among them 
being the Arpa-tchai (1), the Ani, the Silav, the Karpi-tchai or Abaran- 
sou which waters Etchmiadzin, and the Zenghi-tchai flowing from lake 
Sevanga past Erivan. Likewise the snows of Ararat, of Alagheuz and of 
all the great mountains of Armenian Caucasus send down thousands of 
springs and streams which keep cool the valleys and dales during the 
summer heat, water the orchards and fields, and only join the Araxes at 
the time of the heavy Spring rains. 

Formerly all the mountains in northern Armenia were covered with 
forests, both north and south of the Araxes. Today, however, there are 
to be seen in these parts only scanty bushes, which the shepherds rob year 
by year, cutting down, every spring, the new growth to feed their herds. As 
for the valleys, they are all extremely fertile due to the abundance of 
water and the warmth of the sun in this latitude (2). In the dales, the 
vegetation is nearly always ahead of that of the country just outside 
Erivan, because although well sheltered from the north wind, the latter 
wide plain suffers hard winters. The vine and fruit-trees grow here, how- 
ever, in abundance, and from the vineyards of the Masis there are still 
made those excellent wines of which we are told the patriarch Noah 
imbibed to excess. 

The middle valley of the Araxes has always played 
THE PLAIN a considerable part in the national life of the Armenians. 
OF ERIVAN At the foot of Ararat, not far from the left bank of the 
Araxes, is the chief seat of the Armenian Church, at 
Etchmiadzin. In this neighborhood also stood the ancient capitals, 
Armavir and Artaxata, and in the Middle Ages Ani, the residence of the 
last sovereigns of Greater Armenia. Here too the Persians fortified 
Erivan, to guard the possessions of the Shah-an-Shah north of the Araxes. 
Erivan became Russian in 1828, and today its population is almost en- 
tirely Armenian. 

The historian Lazarus of Pharp (3) has left us a charming descrip- 

(1) Barley river. 

(2) Lat. N. 40° (Taranto, Sardinia, Valencia, Lisbon). 

(3) Tranal. vide LANGLOIS, Hist. Arm., Vol. II, p. 263. 

— 22 — 

tion of the province of Erivan in the fifth century of our era and of the 
life led by the Armenian lords at that time: 

" . . . . The magnificent, renowned, and illustrious province of 
"Ararat produces every kind of plant; a fertile and fruitful province, 
"abounding in useful things, and well supplied with all that man needs 
"for a life of happiness and bliss. Its plains are vast and teem with game; 
"'the surrounding mountains, pleasantly situated and offering abundant 
"pasture land, are full of ruminant, cloven-footed, and other animals. 
"From its mountain-tops flow plentiful streams that water the fields 
"needing no fertilizing; thus the city is assured of abundant bread and 
"wine, delicious sweet-tasting vegetables, and a variety of oil-yielding 
"seeds, for its large population. As one looks for the first time in the 
"direction of the mountain slopes and the smooth surfaces of the hills, 
"the multicolored flowers appear like embroidered cloth; their fertile 
"seeds enrich the sweet-smelling pastures where the abundant grass feeds 
"countless herds of donkeys and untamed deer. The scented flowers 
"exhale a keen fragrance that is health-giving both to the skillful bowmen 
"and huntsmen, and to the shepherds dwelling in the open field; the 
"atmosphere is strengthening and bracing to the mind. 

" . . . . These fields are found not only to provide for men's needs, 
"but they disclose to ardent seekers treasures in the bosom of the earth, 
"procuring, for profit and mundane enjoyment, also for regal display and 
"the royal exchequer, gold, copper, iron, and precious stones that the 
"craftsmen turn into majestic ornaments for monarchs, into jewels spark- 
"ling on tiaras, or into crowns or gold embroidery for vestments. 

" . . . . The rivers provide the table with fish of many kinds, both 
"large and small, and of all sorts of shapes and tastes . . . The soil also 
"feeds innumerable birds for the pleasure and amusement of the hunting 
"noblemen; coveys of sweetly cooing partridges and francolins, fond of 
"steep places, hide in the rocks and nest in the nooks; while families of 
"wild birds, fat and appetizing, frequent all reedy places and hide in the 
"groves and bushes, and large fat aquatic birds feed on seeds and water- 
"weeds, together with countless other land and water fowl. Here the 
"satraps with their highborn offspring enjoy hunting with trap or net; 
"others pursue the wild ass or the deer, discussing bowmen and marksman- 
"ship among themselves; others again gallop after herds of stags and 
"buffaloes and excel as archers; still others armed like gladiators with 
"daggers drive large herds of boars down steep inclines and kill them, 

— 23 — 

"Some of the satrap's sons with their tutors and friends supplement the 
"return banquet with various birds caught by the sparrow-hawk; everyone 
"thus comes happily laden from the hunt. The fishermen's children^ 
"catching fish and swimming in the water, await the noblemen's return 
"as is customary, and running to meet them present them with their 
"catch, and with various wild birds and eggs they have found in the 
"river-islands. The satraps, accepting with pleasure a part of their 
"offerings, reciprocate with a bountiful gift from what they have taken 
"hunting. Thus all, laden with good things, go to their homes. It is a 
"sight, for those who love fish and viands, to behold each festal board 
"piled high with the produce of the hunt. 

Leaving the plain of Erivan, the Araxes river 
QARA-BAGH bends off to the south-east and cuts the southern 
& QARA-DAGH edge of the mountainous massif of which Lake 
Sevan is the centre. It passes then into very nar- 
row gorges, leaving to its left Qara-bagh, or Black Garden, which is on 
Russian territory, and to its right Qara-dagh (the Black Mountain) be- 
longing to Persia. In this region stood, before our era, the city of 

Towards Julfa, the frontier station of the railroad that has for the 
last few years connected Tiflis and Tabriz, the valley is still some 
miles wide; but downstream it shrinks gradually until it soon narrows 
to the limits of the river-bed, the Araxes flowing most of the time along- 
side cliffs, hemmed in by high mountains. Here and there, torrents rushing 
down steep slopes form small alluvial deltas in the main valley, whereon 
well-sheltered from the wind there grows the most luxuriant vegetation. 
Wheat grows in these gorges surprisingly well, while vine-branches entwine 
the tallest trees, reach the top of huge-trunked walnut-trees, and spread 
out into gigantic wreaths above impenetrable thickets of centuries of 
growth. The villages are lost to sight under the verdure, buried in 
veritable forests of fruit-trees, — incomparable orchards replete with peach- 
trees, plum-trees, apricot-trees, fig-trees, pomegranate-trees, apple-trees, 
and pear-trees, bringing rich harvests to the inhabitants who dry the fruit 
in the sun and export it (not without considerable difficulty) to the towns 
of Azerbaidjan and Transcaucasia. 

Each small valley of any note has its little town or hamlet; the 
houses, however, cleave to the rocks, for there is little ground available 
for cultivation, and it has to be most carefully parceled out and arranged 

— 24 — 

in terraces up.iciu oy walls of dry stones. The mountain torrents di- 
verted at high altitudes send, through countless streamlets, their water to 
the smallest plot of land, cooling and enriching the earth. 

These oases are often at quite a distance from one another, and their 
inhabitants are dependent for inter-communication on the good pleasure 
of the torrent. Today as in ancient times, they make for themselves 
in their villages all the necessities of life, woolen and cotton cloth, farming 
instruments, horse-saddles, pottery, and copper utensils. Nature provides 
them with cereals, vegetables, fruit, and cotton. The herds feeding on 
their mountains supply them with wool, meat, dairy products, and hides. 
Game abounds, and living in such affluence, they disdain the fish which 
swarm in the Araxes, — carp, salmon, sturgeon, all of them sometimes of 
giant size. As for their needs from outside, these are restricted to fire- 
arms, cartridges, powder, and salt. Such people are poor, some may say, 
because they have but little money, but really they are rich, very rich, 
for they fear neither hunger nor cold, and their needs are more bounti- 
fully supplied than those of our own townfolk at home. 

At Qara-dagh as well as at Qara-bagh, the highest parts of the 
country are sometimes terribly bare; one sees hardly any but a few weakly 
fruit-trees around the villages, and for lack of wood the people are 
obliged to burn dried manure. However, in these regions of rigorous 
climate, most often fog-covered and wrapped in clouds, rains are frequent 
and the dew falls every day, ensuring abundant cereal crops which, with the 
care of the herds, form the mountaineers' sole occupation. There is nothing 
gloomier than these high tablelands, that are the same in all latitudes. 
Even in midsummer it is icy cold at night, and the damp piercing; the bare 
hills follow one another as far as the eye can reach, and the very few 
trees one finds bending before the wind around the villages remind one of 
the sparse woods of our ocean coasts in the parts of Brittany most ex- 
posed to the storms, or of the steppes in southern Russia. 

Elsewhere, whether on Persian or Russian territory, the heights are 
covered with forests; — in the eastern Qara-dagh, for instance, where 
there are Armenian colonies; but in those districts too, the cultivation, 
restricted to the small valleys, is that of the colder countries. The vine 
grows with difficulty at these altitudes and can only endure the big 
winter frosts by being hidden underground for four or five months of 
the year, — as is the case moreover throughout the tableland of Iran. 
Due to the forests, that retain the moisture, springs abound. A small 
district to the east of lake Sevan is called Kirk-boulaq, "forty springs", 

— 25 — 

on account of the many streams carrying their clear water from its 
mountains to the Gheuk-tchai; and this term would well fit many of the 
cantons of Qara-dagh, of the region of Kars, of that of the Joruk and 
many other districts of Armenia. 

But Qara-bagh, a medley of wooded mountains, of abrupt peaks, 
and bare plateaus, with only the valleys at all fertile, is a region of very 
limited resources, where the inhabitants are necessarily restricted to the 
limits set by the scanty amount of soil lit for cultivation. Some writers, 
however, who surely have never gone outside their atlas, have considered 
this massif as the cradle of the whole Aryan race. This hypothesis is un- 
tenable, not only because Qara-bagh lacks space for any such expansion 
of a human family of this size, but also because all the data obtainable 
from languages, history, and archaeology, contradict it. (1) 

We shall see in the next chapter that before the arrival of the 
Armenians and the Tartars in these mountains, the peoples inhabiting 
them belonged most probably to an ethnic group that was non-Semitic 
and non-Aryan, akin to the Kartvelian family, i.e. to the Georgians, the 
Mingrelians, the Lazi, and other Caucasians of ancient stock, and that 
the same thing holds for most nations of the north of Western Asia; that 
the Urartaeans, the people of Nairi, the tribes who preceded the Iranians 
in Atropatenes, probably belonged to one and the same ethnic group, 
Those among these people who were not absorbed by the Semitic con- 
querors of Assyria, the Medes or the Armenians, were concentrated in the 
valleys and mountains of the Cyrus, of the Phasis, or the Joruk, and 
occupy the countries in which they are still to be found today. (2) 

Archaeological discoveries prove that there were some Aryan in- 
vasions across the Lesser Caucasus in very ancient times, but those 
movements of people left no lasting colonies apart from that of the 
Ossetes from the south who took up their abode in the center of the 
Great Caucasus. These Aryans came from quite distant regions, some 
by the southern shore of the Caspian Sea, by the Derbend pass (3), others 
by the defile of Dariall. They all originated, however, from populations 
to the north-east, very far from Qara-bagh. 

(1) In my Premieres Civilisations (p. 58 sq.). in 1909, I discussed this interesting 
question with all its ramifications. 

(2) Cf. J. DE MORGAN, Recherches sur Us Origines des peuples du Caucase, 
(1889), in which work I went in great detail into these movements of population in 
Transcaucasia, Persia and Armenia. 

(3) In Persian: "which closes the door." 

— 26 — 

Some writers have imagined the Araxes valley to be one of the 
great highways that armies and migrations have been wont to follow, 
but that is an unfounded supposition, for even still today that route is 
impassable, and caravans consisting of a few mules only get into serious 
difficulties when they venture onto either of the river's banks. The 
massif crossed by the Araxes forms an almost impossible barrier between 
the lower valley and the middle section of the river, and served eminently 
as a natural protection for the Armenian capitals located in the country 
of Ararat; consequently, the men occupying the plain of Erivan have 
always striven to gain dominion over the inhabitants of these mountains. 

Continuing its course, the Araxes, on leaving 
THE the above gorges, widens its valley and then comes 

PLAIN out into a vast plain, the steppe of Moughan, — 

OF MOUGHAN first being joined, however, on its right (3) by the 
Qara-Sou (4), a tributary from the plateau of Ardebil 
(5). In this low-lying plain the Araxes joins the Kura, and the two 
rivers, mingling as one, meander across their own alluvial soil before 
emptying their waters into the Caspian Sea. (6) The Moughan plain, not 
the Araxes valley, was the former great thoroughfare between the civilized 
States of Asia and Eastern Europe, and it was also over this plain that 
the nomad tribes pouring into Transcaucasia by the passes of Derbend 
or those of Dariall were able to bear down on the old Asiatic empires. 
Both Persians and Romans, however, kept jealous watch always on the 
Caspian Gates and the "Gate of the Alans" (7). From Iberia, the legions 
reached the passes by going down the valley of the Cyrus, whilst from Iran 
this very Important point was reached by way of the plateau of Ardebil, the 
valley of Qara-Sou (the country of the Cadusii), the steppe of Moughan, 
and Baku — the city of the Caspl, then renowned for its temple of fire, as 
it is today for its oil fields. The two rival powers, Rome and Persia, had 
agreed to a joint watch of the gateways to the East, but their concern did 
not extend to Armenia nor to the movement of armies and peoples be- 
tween the northern steppes and Asia. 

(3) Alt. of junction at Sudjeil: 623 ft. 

(4) In Turkish: The Black River. 

(5) Alt. 4,265 ft. 

(6) The level of the Caspian is 88 feet below sea-level. 

(7) Derbend and Dariall (Der-i-Alan, in Persian, the Gate of the Alans), 


To the south-east of Ararat stretches the present 
AZERBAIDJAN Persian province of Azerbaidjan, the Atropatenes 
of the ancient Persians, formerly the land of the 
Medes, and today inhabited by Turks, Armenians, Kurds, Mazdeans, 
and Chaldeans. Here Zoroaster Is said to have been born, and it is here 
that originated the religion of the Avesta, a thousand years or so before 
the Ascanian people arrived in the Masis region. (1) 

This province is fertile in some parts of its plains and in its valleys, 
but dry and barren in its mountains. It is an immense inland basin, 
the bottom of which is lake Urumiah (2), with Ararat in the north-west, 
and Sahend, a large volcanic cone with extinct crater, to the east. The 
chain of Kurdistan bounds Azerbaidjan on the west, while to the east 
this province connects with the Iranian tableland properly speaking by 
the high valley of the Kizil-Ouzen or Sefidroud, the largest river in Persia, 
running into the Caspian Sea. 

Lake Urumiah is fed by many streams and a few large rivers. (This 
lake was known to the ancients by the name of Mateanas.) Many of its 
tributaries, however, carry salt water, so that by degrees the lake has 
become a vast reservoir of salt which like the Dead Sea contains no 
life. In the dry season when its level sinks, it Is ringed with saline de- 
posits as white as snow, which shining in the burning sun, form a dazz- 
ling belt all around the blue surface of Mateanas. 

In reality, Azerbaidjan like all the Persian plateau Is a vast desert 
with very many scattered oases. Each spring, each stream, very skillfully 
diverted by the natives, spreads fertility through this wilderness. But, 
beyond the fields made arable by watering, there Is only stony sunburnt 
ground, growing just a few scanty prickly plants. The mountains are 
dry, bare, often impregnated with salt, sometimes covered with patches of 
motley flowers of the brightest hues. Ruddy heights overlook the city of 
Tabriz. Elsewhere the hillsides show tiers of clay, — grey, white, yellow, 
purple, and green, — intermingled with beds of sandstone or limestone 

(1) In northern Azerbaidjan. there are no traces of neolithic man; the oldest 
burial places are dolmens of the Bronze Age ; iron is found from the beginning of the 
12th century B.C. Later, burial sites give way to Mazdean frames for exposing dead 
bodies. This change took place apparently about the 8th century at the time that 
Zoroaster's religion spread in Atropatenes, and the Median empire was formed. 
Hence, no further tombs are found untU Moslem burial sites appear. (Cf. J. DE 
MORGAN, Mission scientifique en Perse, vol. IV, 1st part; H. DE MORGAN, 
Memoires de la Delegation scientifique en Perse, vol. VIII, p. 251 sq.). 

(2) Alt. 4,000 ft. 

— 28 — 

as multicolored as an artist's palette. Then towards the Sahend are 
found thick flows of dark lava, and at the foot of that volcano immense 
heaps of yellowish phosphorites containing a medley of remains of en- 
tirely lost fauna: (1) elephants, rhinoceros, huge boars, prehistoric horses, 
monkeys, giant tortoises, and large birds, which lived hereabouts in the 
tertiary period. Whereas this was before the upheaval of the Iran 
plateau, when these lands scarcely emerged from the ocean had a climate 
like that of India today, here and there one finds, on this chaotic desert 
tableland, green valleys forested with poplars, white-trunked tebrizis, with 
compact upright branches; these trees planted in profusion are the 
country's only source of wood for building and heating. Tall, slim, and 
pale-leaved, their colorful forms add an original and cheerful note to the 
otherwise gloomy landscapes of Azerbaidjan. 

On the heights, on Sahend, and in the Kurdistan chain, are the 
summer pasture-lands of the nomads which have caused constant strife 
and barbarous wars between neighboring tribes for centuries and cen- 
turies. Down on the plain, however, it is over spring and streams that 
villages quarrel, for in these lands the smallest stream is looked on as most 
precious property; no single drop of water it supplies is wasted, and the 
Turkish, Persians, and Armenian farmers are pastmasters in the science 
of irrigation. Both the distribution of the water supply and the ap- 
portionment of pasture-land, it is true, are governed by customs dating 
back to the first settlements of the region; nevertheless respect for these 
customs rests upon force, and generally might is right. 

The chief towns of the Medes in Atropatenes, Gazaka and Phraaspa, 
were situated far to the south in what were at that time the populous 
districts of Moukri and Gherrous in present-day Kurdistan, whereas the 
north was more sparsely inhabited, not offering sufficient natural re- 
sources for a large population. 

Between Dilman and Ouchnouw, on the western 

PERSIAN shore of lake Urumiah, at the foot of the Kurdish 

KURDISTAN mountains abounding in streams, the whole country 

is verdant, and the highlands, shaded by forests, are 

(1) Cf. R. DE MECQUENEM, Annales de la Delegation scientifique en Perse^ 
concerning the fossil vertebrata of the Maragha deposit. 

— 29 — 

covered with fat pastures. The same is true of the 
region of the river Kialvi (the lower Zab), and all 
the western slope of these mountains, in Ottoman 
territory, is likewise wooded, well watered, and fer- 
tile in the valleys. But these districts have always 
been in the possession of the Medes or their descen- 
dants, the Kurds, and if they had sought to venture 
into them, the Armenians would have come up against 
countless difficulties. They therefore turned away 
from the mountains and colonized only the plain, 
around Dilman, Salmas, and Urumiah. The Ghader- 
tcha'i is their extreme limit in the south. 

The Armenians did not find in Atropatenes the 
same facilities to expand that they found in the countries north, west, 
and south-west of Ararat, and moreover they met, on the shores of lake 
Urumiah and in the region of the upper Zab, with the resistance of a 
powerful and warlike people. On the other hand, in Transcaucasia the 
older populations were divided, and to the west the Assyrian and Urartian 
provinces, disorganized by the downfall of their capital cities, were in- 
capable of resistance. Armenian expansion in Atropatenes was therefore 
very limited; there were a few settlements, but these farming colonies 
were never more than sporadic, and the chief centers of the nation in 
Persia developed only later in the towns where commerce and industry 
gave the newcomers means of livelihood. 

(Allegorical figure 
on an old coin.) 


To the west and south-west of the Masis 
stretches Turkish Armenia, the largest of the 
three modern political divisions of the Ascan- 
ian people. Its chief center is on a very high 
plateau containing today the towns of Erzerum (1), Van (2), ancient 
Thospia, Bitlis (3), ancient Batatesa, Mouch (4), all names renowned in 
history; the center of this province is the Bin-Gheul-dagh (5), a very 
squat mountain sending forth many streams through its countless gullies. 
It is on this plateau commanding the whole of Western Asia that the 

(1) Alt. 6,168 ft. 

(2) Alt. 5.413 ft. 

(3) Alt. 5,020 ft. 

(4) Alt 4,593 ft. 

(5) Alt. 10,500 ft. 

— 30 

most famous rivers of early legends take their rise. The Araxes, just 
mentioned, the western Euphrates (or Qara-tchai in Turkish) which rises 
not more than 25 miles north of the city of Erzerum near the village 
of Kizail-Kilissa (1), the eastern Euphrates or Mourad-tchai, the ancient 
Arsanias, flowing down from the Agri-dagh (2), the height forming the 
frontier outpost of Russian territory prior to 1914, and finally the Tigris 
composed of a hundred or more streams issuing from the great land eleva- 


tion situated to the south of lake Van, namely, the Armenian Taurus. 

Just as each Russian and Persian provmce of Armenia has its lake, 
so has Turkish Armenia, — the Dzov Vana of the Armenians, the lake Van 
of the Turks and Europeans, and the Thospitis (3) of the ancient world, 
a vast sheet of slightly salty water, 75 miles long, and 56 wide in its 

(1) The Yellow Church, in Tarkish. Alt. 7,440 ft, 

(2) Alt. 10,630 ft. 

(3) Alt. 5,413 ft. 


southern part, fed by the massif of Ararat, the Kurdistan chain, and the 
Armenian Taurus. Here formerly, on the eastern shore of lake Thospitis 
stood the capital of the kings of Urartu, and here upon the rocks the 
Sardur and Argistis dynasties engraved the story of their exploits 
against their terrible subjects of Ashur, against the inhabitants of Media. 
The territories of these rulers then extended from the regions around 
Gheuk-tchai on the north and the Kurdistan mountains on the east, as 
far as and sometimes beyond the Armenian Taurus on the south. These 
lords of Urartu were mighty monarchs; they waged unceasing war often 
victoriously, against their eastern and southern neighbors. Their country, 
moreover, despite its cold climate due to high altitudes, produced all the 
supplies needful for the life of a State in those times. Its valleys are 
fertile, its pasture-lands rich, and its mountains well wooded and abound- 
ing in metals. 

If the traveler crosses the pass of Kel-i-chin (1) by the path leading 
from Ouchnouw to Revandouz, he enters Turkish Kurdistan, an un- 
cultivated but physically favored land, covered with immense forests of 
sweet acorn-bearing oak-trees. Whereas if he leaves Persia by the passes 
of Khoi, he meets only with meadows and well watered farm-lands. This 
is because in spite of its centuries and centuries of neglect, in spite of a 
lamentable government, the region is still one of the most fertile of 
Asiatic Turkey, thanks to the industry of the Armenians who since they 
arrived In the land have always striven to develop the natural riches 
of the soil. The new-comers alone endeavored to improve their native 
land, whereas the pillaging Kurds and the lazy Kartvelians made no at- 
tempt to enhance their province, and the only ambition of the Arabian or 
Turkish masters was to live off the work of their Christian serfs. 

To the north-west of the Armenian plateau, 
LAZITAN AND the river Tcharoukh of the Turks, the Jorokh 

THE PONTIC ALPS of the Armenians, makes a deep separation be- 
tween the lands of the Christian Aryans and 
those of the Moslem Lazi. This stream, rising in the neighborhood of 
Baibourt (2), runs parallel to the Black Sea coast, crosses the Parkhal 
mountains, the ancient Paryadres, near Artvin (3) and empties itself into 

(1) In Kurdish: the Bine Stone, a name taken from a stele of diorite rock placed 
there once by a king of Urartu, 

(2) Alt, 5,085 ft. 

(3) Alt, 2,100 ft. 

— 32 — 

the Black Sea a little to the south-west of Batum, after traveling about 
220 miles. It is a rushing torrent from its source to its mouth; at a 
hundred or more different points it has dug itself deep and impass- 
able gorges, and following its valley it is easy to understand the im- 
portant part it played as a ditch dug by Nature between the Armenian 
States and the Greco-Roman territory of the Pontus. 

Formerly the Pontic Alps north of the Tcharoukh belonged to 
tribes called the Macrones and the Moschi; today the Lazi occupy these 
mountains, and it is quite certain that the Lazi are none other than the 
descendants of the tribes that Xenophon's Greeks once visited, for these 
people, speaking a Caucasian tongue, undoubtedly are still dwelling in 
the land of their ancestors. 

There is nothing more interesting, for anyone who is fortunate 
enough to be able to visit Lazistan and to read once more the Anabasis 
as he makes his way through this mountain chaos, than to observe the 
customs of these uncivilized peoples. Except for their religious beliefs, 
no change has come to the life of these mountaineers during the twenty- 
five centuries separating us from the time of Cyrus the Younger. The 
villages are still today as they were when the Ten Thousand passed 
through, and the people have remained just as fierce and inhospitable as 
they were in the past. On this side Armenian expansion came up against 
the precipices of the Tcharoukh, and at the giant wall of the Pontic Alps 
(of which many peaks reach 13,000 feet) met with inpenetrable forests 
and, above all, with warlike, energetic inhabitants absolutely determined 
to drive back any foreign intruders. 

It is because of the Lazi on her north-west border that Armenia 
never had any outlet to the sea, and this impossibility of having di- 
rect communication with the centers of Greek civilization played an 
important and baneful role in her destiny. For had they been in pos- 
session of the coast, had they settled at the mouth of the Tcharoukh^ 
at Rizeh, or at Trebizond, the Armenians would have been able to take 
part in the general life of the Greek world and Armenia would have 
formed a great State able to resist the mighty Eastern and Western em- 
pires centuries before the Romans appeared in Western Asia. To under- 
stand what Armenia would have become in Roman times for instance, 
one need only read the annals remaining to us of the great Mithidrates and 

— 33 — 

other rulers of his dynasty; for the kings of the Pontus accomplished 
great feats, and yet the people under them were less gifted than the 
Armenian nation. 

Like all high-lying lands, the climate of the plateau 

CLIMATE of Erzerum is very severe. The winter is frigid, and 

OF THE the very deep snow remains on the ground for months. 

ARMENIAN On the other hand, due to the latitude, the summers 

PLATEAU are torrid, and the great heat in conjunction with the 

plenteous water supply and the natural fertility of the 

soil, make Armenia a fruitful land. 

As in the northern plains of Europe, vegetation grows very fast, and 
it can be said that, like in Scandinavia, "you can hear the wheat grow." 


As for the orchards, they are as fruitful as any of our European gardens, 
for the snow covering the mountain-tops both in Kurdistan and in the 
Armenian Taurus remains throughout the summer and the gardens can 
be well watered during the whole dry season. 

— 34 — 

To the north of Erzerum, in the upper part of the western Euphrates, 
are Immense marshes locally called "sazluk." These expanses of stagnant 
water were once more extensive still, before men cut down the forests 
and stripped most of the hillsides. These earlier marshes have left in most 
of the valleys a black humus that is rich in organic remains and yields 
without manuring luxuriant yearly crops. 

But the unusual position of the Armenian 
THE ARMENIAN plateau affects not only the climate of the region 
STRONGHOLD and the soil's generous productivity; it gives its 
inhabitants a place of special importance from a 
political and military standpoint, with regard to the districts of Iran and 
the large Turkish valleys lying below the level of this massif. Armenia is 
in itself a veritable fortress commanding all Western Asia together with 
the great arteries of the two Euphrates and the Tigris rivers. This prime 
characteristic has always made it a citadel coveted by neighboring States. 
Assyria was for very many centuries at war with the rulers of Van, when 
the kings of Urartu controlled the mountain region that later became 


the realm of the Armenians. A formidable wall, the Taurus of Armenia, 
standing between the Ninivites and their northern enemies, then pro- 
tected the kingdom of Van against the assaults of Ashur. Later on, when 
the Parthians and Sassanids were contending with the Romans for the 

— 35 — 

overlordship of Armenia, the ramparts of Roman territory were at 
Nisibis, Tigranocerta, and Amida, at the southern foot of the Armenian 
Taurus, but the political center and strategic base were further north 
on the plateau itself. The great Theodosius (1) had no illusions regarding 
the importance of the Armenian citadel, when he ordered one of his legates 
to build right in the middle of this region the city of Erzerum which ever 
since has been the heart of Armenia. Moses of Khoren (2) has left us an 
account of the founding of Theodosiopolis (Erzerum) along with a des- 
cription of the site selected by the Romans : 

"General Anatolus, upon receiving the order from the Emperor, 
"came into our land; he traveled over many of our provinces and de- 
"cided to build in the District of Karin, (1) the center of the country, 
"possessing a well-watered, rich, and fertile soil. This center is not very 
"far from where the springs of one part of the Euphrates take their rise, 
"and these springs in their quiet flow spread out into a vast marsh or 
"inland sea. (2) There were great quantities of fish and of all kinds of 
"birds, and the inhabitants lived entirely on eggs. The edges of this marsh 
"are covered with rushes and reeds. The plains grow grass and seed- 
"fruits. The mountains abound with cloven-footed and ruminating an- 
"imals. The herds breed rapidly, are large and strong, and fatten won- 

"At the foot of this pleasant mountain (3) are many clear springs. 
"This is the point which Anatolus chose for the site of the city; he sur- 
"rounded it with a wide ditch, laid very deep the foundations of the 
"walls, and erected on the ramparts a number of tall and tremendous 
"towers, the first of which he called Theodosia in honor of Theodosius. 
"Further out he built other towers with projections like ships' prows, and 
"he also dug passages opposite the mountain. He did the same on the 
"side of the plain towards the north; and both on the east and on the 
"west he constructed round-shaped towers. In the middle of the city, on 
"an eminence, he built a number of warehouses, and called the spot 
"Augusteum in honor of Augustus (Theodosius). He conveyed water 

(1) 379-395 A.D. 

(2) Vol. Ill, LIX; transl. vol. II, p. 166. 

(1) Caranitis of Pliny. 

(2) Sazlonk of the Turks, i.e. place of the reeds. 

(3) Top-dagh or "Cannon mountain", of the Turks; sourp-khatch or "the holy 
s" of the Armenians. 

— 36 — 

"to different points by underground conduits. He filled the city with arms 
"and troops, and gave it the name of Theodosiopolis, so that its name 
"should immortalize that of Theodosius. Finally, Anatolus erected edifices 
"of freestone over the thermal springs. (4) 

The perpetual wars which the Armenian people had to wage to pre- 
serve their independence, together with the harshness of their native 
chmate, made them a race of sturdy, hardy, and brave warriors, whose 
love of country and national freedom increased in proportion as they shed 
their blood preserving their heritage. To this special situation of Armenia 
is due the ardent patriotism in the heart of every Armenian. It is also 
the reason why for centuries the kingdom of Urartu lasted, while all the 
great Eastern States fell successively, under the Assyrian assault. In this 
history, the reader will see the Armenian nation ever fighting to keep their 
land, their freedom, their traditions, and their religion, and ever being at- 
tacked from every point of the compass because fate had placed them in 
the most vital strategic position of all Asia. 

During the great wars of the Romans and the Byzantines against the 
Persians, hostilities almost always broke out in Armenia where, if the 
Empire was directing its chief effort against Ctesiphon, the Armenian arm- 
ies fighting alongside the legions constituted a threat on the north to 
the King of Kings, compelling him to divide his army. Was not the 
capture of Erzerum by the Russians in 1878, and again recently, re- 
garded as a fatal blow to Turkey? This peculiar position of the Armenian 
homeland explains not only the main phases of this valiant people's 
history, but their development of physical and moral character. 

Although at different periods the Armenian domain 
SOUTHERN greatly varied in extent, it appears (except for the time 
ARMENIA of Tigranes the Great) never to have gone further south 
than the left bank of the Tigris between Diarbekir and 
Djeziret-ibn-Omar; and in the Armenian Taurus the Armenians seem to 
be a minority compared to the Kurdish population. Moreover the vast 
mountain massif of the Djoudi-dagh at the south of lake Van has hardly 
been explored geographically. A few travelers at the most have noted 
the general direction of the main streams running down from it. Two 
large rivers, tributaries of the Tigris, take their rise in these mountains. 

(4) Cf. PROCOPIUS, De Aedif., vol. Ill, p. 5. Karin of the Armenians, Erzenim 
of the Tnrks (Arz-Rum or Arz-er-Rum, "the citadel of the Greeks"). 

— 37 — 

namely, the Bohtan-tchai into which there runs the Bitlis torrent, and 
the Khabour, issuing from the heights of the Persian frontier, at about the 
latitude of Dilman. Between these two rivers the maps show nothing; 
the reason is that this massif is inhabited by the most inhospitable tribes 
of these parts, by the notorious massacring Kurds who, let loose in recent 
years against the Armenians, descended on Bitlis, Van, and Mouch, 
with their adjacent countryside, and spread death and devastation in the 
villages and towns. 

All the mountain region of the left bank of the Tigris, from Diarbekir 
to the outskirts of Bagdad, is still steeped in the most frightful savagery. 
Every valley, every little district, has its independent Kurdish tribe, often 
at war with its neighbors. They are all more or less emancipated from 
Turkish or Persian authority; many have never been subdued. So much 
is this the case that officials of the Shah or the Sultan hardly ever venture 
into this labyrinth of mountains, rocks, forests, precipices, and deep 
gorges, where the Kurds, far from the outside world and sure of impunity 
for their crimes, live to themselves on their loot, maintain the fierce in- 
stincts of their ancestors, the Carducii, and repulse any foreign interfer- 
ence, be the intruders coreligionists or not. One can easily under- 
stand the enthusiasm with which the bloody orders of Abdul-Hamid 
and the Young Turks were greeted in these mountains; it was a terrible 
revival of barbarity, a delirium of murder, pillage, and sadism. 

The center of Kurdistan is indeed in this vast 
TURKISH region, where the tribes, (whose annals have been 
KURDISTAN written by Sherif nameh) (1), have kept their ancient 
character and customs with undiminished harshness 
and abandon. These clans encroach widely on Persian territory, towards 
Moukri, Serdecht, and Sineh, in the Avroman region; but they occupy 
mainly the Armenian Taurus and the mountains from which flow the two 
Zab rivers, the Zab-ala or upper Zab (2), and the Zab-el-asfal, or lower 
Zab. (3) This country is one of the chief recruiting sources for the Turkish 
government of its famous Hamidiyehs, notorious for the horrors they 
commit daily against Christians. 

(1) Cf. Transl. Desire CHAMROY (St. Petersburg). 

(2) Zabas major 

(3) Zabas minor 

— 38 — 

Towards the west, in the valleys of the two 
WESTERN Euphrates, the Armenians expanded more vigorously 

ARMENIA than towards the south. There, in the regions once 

crossed by their forefathers as they made their way 
to Ararat, they founded very many flourishing colonies, both in the open 
country and in the small towns and cities. One need mention only the 
"Armenistans" of Erzindjan on the eastern Euphrates and Kharput on the 
Arsanias, to have a proper idea of the expansive force of the Armenian race. 
The scattered colonies linking Greater Armenia with Armeno-Cilicia are 
very numerous; they constitute a sort of archipelago between Erzerum and 
the mountains of the Amanus. Everywhere on this long route, these 
Christians founded villages deep in Moslem lands, and they parceled out 
the soil, in spite of the dangerous proximity of Kurds, Turks, and Cir- 
cassians. Most of the tributaries of the Euphrates run in fertile valleys, 
and these lands had been generally abandoned when gradually during the 
centuries the Armenians came and developed them. 

In the principal valley, the arable lands do not follow accurately 
the river banks, but crop up in islets of all sizes, running like a string of 
oases from one bank of the river to the other according to the whim of 
the current. Elsewhere the river forms rapids, and rushes through deep 
gorges which are often flanked with high cliffs. One of these gorges, the 
Kamagh-'Boghaz (1) recently acquired sad renown. Turks and Kurds, 
at the orders of their Stamboul masters, massacred thousands of Ar- 
menian women, children, and old folk, a harmless multitude driven out 
of their towns and villages and pushed forward like cattle to these rocks, 
the scene of their martyrdom. Many of these unfortunate people, rather 
than wait for the fate their executioners had for them, put an end to their 
sufferings in the turbulent waters of the Euphrates. 

The Euphrates is not navigable throughout its upper course, either 
its western or its eastern branch (2). Only after Biredjik, or rather 
after Meskeneh, (3) can boats be used. Above this spot, the river runs 
violently in a bed full of rocks and interrupted by falls and rapids. 

Usually vessels leaving Mesekneh go adrift down the river, not with- 
out some difficulty, and stop at Feloudja (4), a small village near Bag- 

(1) Alt. 3,510 ft. at 25 miles downstream from Erzindjan where the altitude is 
about 4,250 ft. 

(2) The junction of the two Euphrates (alt. 2,300 ft.) is 22 miles south-east of 
Arabkir and 25 miles west of Kharput. 

(3) A place on the left river, 38 miles west of Aleppo. 

(4) At 38 miles west of Bagdad. 

— 39 — 

dad; the Euphrates current Is so strong that no boat can go upstream. On 
arriving at Feloudja these vessels unload their goods, and are then taken 
to pieces, and the wood is taken on camels to the capital of the Caliphs 
and there offered for sale. As for the crew, they have a twenty or twenty- 
five-day journey overland back to their country. 

On the middle Tigris, navigation, downstream only of course, is 
carried on by means of keleks or rafts of planks held together by a cross- 
work of tree-branches and supported by inflated water-skins. This mode of 
transportation Is as old as history itself In these lands, and is depicted in 
Assyrian carvings. It is used between DIarbekIr and Bagdad, for only 
beyond Samara or Eski-Bagdad, not far from Harun-al-Raschid's city, 
is two-way navigation on the Tigris possible for boats and shallow- 
draught steamers. 

Thus we see that the rivers coming down from the Erzerum plateau 
never served the Armenians in their political or commercial expansion 
to the south and south-west. This fact not only has an important bearing 
on the growth of the Armenian people's outward connections, but it 
played a vital part in the history of Western Asia, first in checking the 
westward movement of Chaldean civilization, and then by confining the 
regions of the two great rivers to outlets on the East, i.e. towards still 
barbaric countries, and this at the time when the Mediterranean countries 
had become the center of human progress. 

When Julian the Philosopher left Antloch at the head of his army to 
attack the Persians, he took the road to Ctesiphon, following the left bank 
of the Euphrates, whilst the ships laden with his troops' military supplies 
were carried downstream; and when he reached Sapor's capital, knowing 
that none of his vessels could return to Syria, he set fire to the fleet. The 
return journey of the legions, after their Emperor's death, was a downright 

When King Chosroes went out against the Roman provinces of Syria, 
against Antioch or Jerusalem, he and his transports moved overland, and 
so it was always whenever Asiatics set out to conquer Phoenicia or Egypt. 
The inhabitants of Coelo-Syria seem to have been in the best position, 
but it was still a precarious privilege, for the forty days march at least (1) 
between Antloch and Ctesiphon, offered serious difficulties whether for 
advancing armies or for trade-caravans, on these sometimes torrid, some- 
times frigid deserts. These same difficulties blocked all northern peoples in 
their desire to obtain lands enjoying milder climates. The Armenians were 

(1) About 600 miles. 

— 40 — 

no exception to the general law; they stopped at the latitude of the middle 
Tigris and only occasionally, at the time of the conquests of Tigranes 
the Great, did they push as far as the northern limits of the Sindjar. 
The unfortunates who today are suffering thirst in the desert near Deir- 
el-Zor and Damascus, driven from their native land by the Turks into 
these wastes whence there is no return, are parked in districts that were 
never known to the Armenians. 

At different times, the extent of the Armenian 

FRONTIERS homeland has varied greatly. The Achaemenian in- 

OF scriptions (1) show this nation as already settled on 

ARMENIA the Erzerum plateau; but only in the first centuries of 

our era was its geographical position accurately stated 

in writings remaining extant. The geographer Strabo (2) has left us quite 

a clear idea of what Armenia consisted of in his time. (3) 

"Protected on the south by the [Armenian] Taurus," he wrote, 
"Armenia is bordered on the east by Greater Media [the Kurdistan of 
"Moukri and Sineh] and by Atropatenes [Azerbaidjan]. To the north 
"it is bounded partly by the portion of the Parachoathras chain situated 


(1) Trilingual inscriptions of Darius at Bisoutun (Behistun), 

(2) Strabo died in the reign of Tiberius (A.D. 14-37). 

(3) STRABO, Geogr. vol. XI, p. XIV-I. 


"above the Caspian Sea [western Elburz], by Albania [Daghestan] and 
"Iberia [Georgia], — together with the Caucasus that includes these two 
"latter provinces and which, connecting on the very frontiers of Armenia 
"with the Moschian and Colchaean mountains [eastern Lesser Caucasus] 
"extends actually into the lands of the Tibareni [towards Qara-Hissar] 
"and by Mount Paryadres [Pontic Alps of Lazistan] and the Skydises 
"[towards Kharput] as far as Lesser Armenia [to the west of the western 
"Euphrates] and the valley of the Euphrates, which prolongs the separa- 
"tion between Armenia on the one side and Cappadocia [Sivas] and 
"Commagene [east of the Amanus] on the other." 

According to his invariable custom, the Cappadocian geographer 
not only describes the appearance of the country (which has, moreover, 
undergone no great change for the last two thousand years), but he sets 
forth also, briefly, the progress made by the Armenians in their country 
from the time the Persians were subdued by the armies of Alexander the 
Great to the date of his incomparable work. 

"The Kingdom of Armenia," he says, "owed its extension chiefly to 
"the conquests of Artaxias and Zariadras, former lieutenants of Antiochus 
"the Great, who on the fall of their master were called to reign, the one 
"over Sophene [the eastern bank of the Euphrates], Antisene, Oromandris, 
"and the surrounding districts [Erzerum plateau], — the other over the 
"province of Artaxata [Erivan province]. These two by their united 
"efforts captured in succession: Caspiana [the plain of Moughan and 
"region of Baku] from the Medes; Phaunitis and Bassoropeda [northern 
"slope of the Lesser Caucasus] from the Iberians; the whole foot of Mt. 
"Paryadres [Pontic Alps] together with Chorzene [between the two 
"branches of the upper Euphrates], and beyond the Cyrus, Gogarene 
"[Gougarq or Gougarkh of the Armenians] from the Chalybi and the 
"Mossinaecians; Carenitis and Derxene [high western Euphrates] two 
"provinces today adjacent to Lesser Armenia if not parts thereof, from 
"the Cataones; Akilisene [north part of Commagene] and all the dis- 
"tricts of the Anti-Taurus from the Syrians; and finally Taronitis [Taron 
"of the Armenians, south of Lake Van], — all of which countries, on ac- 
"count of this grouping together under one rule speak today the same 

Undoubtedly the Armenians' glorious periods under Artaxias and 
Zariadras, and Tigranes the Great, are those of their country's greatest 
expansion. Numerous colonies were founded in the vast States of those 
rulers, colonies so large and that became so prosperous that the Armenian 

— 42 — 

language was spoken throughout the provinces listed by Strabo. Most of 
the Armenians' present-day centers certainly owe their origin to the 
above conquests, for they are all within the regions mentioned by the 
Greek geographer, and any other colonies founded in various valleys 
after the first century of our era were, as regards Greater or Lesser 
Armenia, attributable only to the older homelands. 


ones of native writers. 

The subdivisions of Armenia have varied 
at different periods, and their names have under- 
gone changes. In most provinces the Greco- 
Latm names were succeeded by the Armenian 
The latter are very little known, and need to be 
explained and their corresponding ancient or modern districts indicated. 

Greater Armenia consisted in the Middle Ages of fifteen provinces, 
the frontiers of which have greatly varied but which on the whole cor- 
respond to definite regions: 

1) Upper Armenia, comprising Derxene and Akilisene of ancient 
times, included the region of the upper Jorokh and upper Euphrates, 
where we find today the towns of Baibourt, Gumuch-Hane, and Erzindjan. 


43 — 

2) Sophene, or Fourth Armenia of the Greeks, bounded on the west 
by the middle Euphrates, and crossed by the eastern Euphrates (the 
Arsanias). Its chief city today is Kharput. 

3) Aghtznik, extending south to the upper Tigris (Diarbekir), in- 
cluded Arzanene (Arm-Artzn), the cities of Marty ropolis and Tigrano- 
certa, — and today the town of Mouch. 

4) Tourouberan, the ancient Chorzianene, comprises the whole 
Erzerum region as far as the north shore of lake Van. 

5) Mock, or ancient Gordyene, probably the Moxoene of Ammian 
Marcellinus, including the northern slope of the Armenian Taurus, as far 
as lake Van, with Bitlis and Van as its towns. 

6) Kordjaiq, on the left bank of the Tigris, south of the Armenian 
Taurus, as far as the upper Zab. Djeziret-ibn-Omar is the chief town of 
the region today. 

7) Parskahaiq, or Perso-Armenia, a region straddling the Kurdistan 
chain, belonging today partly to Persia; — Includes Salmas, Urumlah, and 
the western bank of lake Urumlah. 

8) Vaspourakan, to the south-east of Ararat (Persia and Turkey) 
with the towns of Maraud, Khoi, and Bayazid. 

9) Siouniq, the Sissakan of the Persians, Syrians, and Arabs, to the 
north of the Araxes, includes the Russian mountain districts of Chahrour, 
Daralagheuz, Djahouk, and Ghapan, and the towns of Nakhltchevan^ 
Djulfa, and Ordubad. 

10) Artsakh or Qara-bagh of our time, with Choucha its chief town. 

11) Pai'takaran comprising the promontory formed by the junction of 
the Kurah and Araxes rivers In the middle of the Moughan plain. In 
this direction the Armenians sometimes pushed temporarily as far as the 
Caspian shore. 

12) OutI, comprising the northern slope of the mountains of Gheuk- 

— 44 — 

tchai (Russian districts of Kazakhl, Chamchadil and Airloun) as far as 
the bank of the Cyrus, with lellsavetopol (Gandzek) its chief modern 
town. The Greeks called this province Otene. 

13) Gougarq, the Gogarene of the Greeks, a mountainous country 
on the upper course of the Cyrus, north of the Araxes, the region of Kars, 
Alexandropol, Ardahan, and Artvin. 

14) Taiq, a district situated between that of Erzerum and the right 
bank of the Jorokh. 

15) A'irarat (Ararat), the great Armenian center of Erivan and 
Etchmiadzin. Here stood the cities of Artaxata, Armavir, Bagaran, and 

As we have seen, the ancient world divided 

GREATER AND Armenia into two distinct States, Armenia Major 

LESSER ARMENIA or Greater Armenia and Armenia Minor or 

Lesser Armenia. The latter was bounded on 
the north by the kingdom of Pontus, on the south by Cappadocia, and on 
the west by the district of Polemon. It included the regions to the left 
of the western Euphrates as far up as its junction with the Arsanlas. This 
State had therefore nothing to do with Armeno-Cilicia, which did not 
exist until the 11th century of our era. The name of Lesser Armenia 
cannot, consequently, be applied to the Rupenian kingdom for which the 
name of New Armenia is much more appropriate. 

At the present time, we find the Armenian popu- 
NEW latlon decreasing as, leaving Erzerum, we go to- 

ARMENIA OR wards the Euphrates, and increasing as we leave the 
SISSOUAN right bank of the Euphrates and descend from 

Kharput towards the Cilician shores of the Med- 
iterranean. The reason is that we are now entering the last of the 
Armenian kingdoms, New Armenia, called Sissouan by the natives. Most 
European writers call it Armeno-Cilicia, but improperly so, for in the 
attempt thus to join together two periods of the country's history, they 
are committing a grievous anachronism. 

— 45 — 

?J% Koatfi's 

' Sirafiit 





Regions inhabited by the Armenians. 

(Shaded) : — Districts where the Armenians are more than a third of the population. 

Marasch, Zeitoun, Adana, Sis, Hadjin, Dortyol, etc. are the chief 
Christian centers of this country. In those valleys, on the southern 
slope of the great Asiatic peninsula, are preserved to this day the re- 
mains of the Armenian population over whom reigned, after the Rupenian 
founders of the kingdom became extinct, the French dynasty of Lusignan, 

New Armenia, which came into existence shortly after the disaster 
of the Bagratids of Ani, had like all eastern States its days of good and 
ill fortune, and its frontiers varied according to the success attending 
its arms. Nevertheless its average extent was at least equal to that of the 
smaller European countries such as Switzerland, Belgium, Holland, or 

New Armenia occupied a little over 300 miles of the Mediterranean 
coast, from the Gulf of Alexandretta to near the mouth of the river known 
to the ancients as the Melas, and to the Turks as the Manargai-tchai. 
Its northern borders, which were always rather vague, seem to have been 
the Taurus watershed, whilst the Amanus Mountains were its eastern 

— 46 — 

Large streams water the plains lying between the two chains, as well 
as the coastal region. On the west there is first the Gheuk-sou (or blue 
water), the Calycadmus of ancient times; then, further east, the river 
Tarsus or Saihoum, the former Sarus, and the river Djihan, known to 
the Greeks as the Pyramis, not to speak of a large number of rivulets 
descending from the Taurus and Amanus chains. 


It has so happened that the Armenians have always been connected 
with lands of fame, for, after losing their independence in their Ararat 
homeland, they settled around the famous Cillcian Gates through which 
Alexander the Great passed, on his way to his victory in Issus that was to 
spread Greek civilization throughout the world. 

The new home then chosen by the Armenians is a land blessed of 
heaven; abundantly watered, the fertility of its plains, the coolness of its 
southward-exposed valleys, make it a veritable paradise on earth. In 

— 47 — 


(Allegorical figure on 

an old coin.) 

Cilicia, as moreover in Syria, everything grows 
in profusion: the vine, the olive-tree, the pome- 
granate and orange trees, fill the orchards 
along with every variety of our European fruit- 
trees. The farmer has two crops yearly, and 
the mountains also, above their shaded sides 
of century-old forests of cedar and pine, have 
rich grass-lands on their summits that are 
often over thirteen thousand feet high. Only 
indeed some evil genius could have surrendered 
these regions to the indifference of the Turks, 
cutting short the development of such bountiful 
natural riches. 

For the first time in the course of their long national existence, the 
Armenians of CiHcia were able to maintain direct intercourse by sea with 
the peoples of the west, and if fate had allowed they would have de- 
veloped in a parallel direction and under the same influences as the 
peoples of Europe. During the Crusades, the 
Armenian people, though of Eastern origin, de- 
veloped rapidly and parted company with the 
Byzantine world which for so many centuries had 
hindered their progress, and which perished, the 
victim of its own obstinacy and ancient preju- 

But the Armenians were not the only pos- 
sessors of the rich lands of Cilicia. Before they 
arrived, the country was already inhabited, and 
after their own kingdom fell, the Turkish rulers 
encouraged Moslems to settle in the region. To- 
day in the valleys and plains are to be found 
not only Armenians but Turks, Kurds (9th century emigrants), Arabs, 
and, in the mountains, Turkoman nomads along 
with uncivilized tribes of unknown origin. There 
are also half-breeds, part Armenian and part 
Kurd, who have become Moslems and never leave 
the mountains and forests. Due to this mix- 
ture ofl uncivilized clans, there is very little 
security in the Taurus and the Amanus 



(Allegorical figure on a 

coin of Emperor 



(Allegorical figure on 

an old coin.) 

— 48 — 

Consequently, the regions inhabited by the Ar- 
THE THREE menian nation consist historically speaking of three 
ARMENIAS distinct parts, the first two of which, Greater and Lesser 
Armenia, dating from ancient times, are often merged 
subsequent to Alexander the Great, while the third, New Armenia, dates 
from the Middle Ages. It follows, therefore, that the history of the Armen- 
ians divides into phases that correspond to its geographical sections. The 
first part comprises the annals of Ancient Armenia (Greater and Lesser) 
and starts with the Achaemenian period (6th century B.C.) and continues 
until the Moslem conquests of the 10th century of our era. The second part 
deals with New Armenia, the records of which cover several centuries of 
the Middle Ages and are contemporaneous with the Crusades. Finally 
for both Armenias there comes the period of martyrdom, of the Moham- 
medan yoke, which still exists, alas! The very conditions under which 
the Armenian people have existed throughout the centuries, account for 
the fact that although mostly at the present time quartered in their 
ancient territory of Ararat, they are also spread out, more or less densely 
according to location, from the banks of the Kurah to the shores of 
Cilicia, and from the Black Sea coast to the borders of the Mesopotamlan 

(Allegorical figure on an old coin) 

— 49 ^ 


Origin of the Armenian people. — Sojourn of the Armeno-Phrygians 
IN Thrace. — Their crossing into Asia. — Their march to the Ararat 
COUNTRY. — Conquest of the Erzerum plateau. — The Haikian patri- 
archs. — The legendary dynasty. — Median ascendency. — The 

DONIAN CONQUEST. — The dynasty of Phraataphernes. — Rule of the 

Seleucids of Syria. 

We are indebted to narratives of ancient writers, interpreted in the 
light of inscriptions and archaeological research, for our success of re- 
cent years in disentangling at great pains the earliest movements of the 
great peoples of antiquity from the mass of legends surrounding them. 
This fresh light on those beginnings presents in a new aspect humanity's 
stirrings at the dawn of modern civilization. The first strivings of 
Chaldaea, of Elam, and of Egypt are revealed with sufficient clarity to 
warrant the assertion today that six or seven thousand years have elapsed 
since the start of our own civilization and that its first beneficent waves 
emanated from those Asiatic and African homes. Men then had just 
discovered how to record their thoughts in writing and were emerging 
from the barbaric era wherein memory had no aid beyond rudimentary 
representations of objects considered worthy of remembrance. 

But although those nations that were able to write have handed 
down to us the story of their early pulsations, it is unfortunately not so 
as regards all peoples. The Greeks and the Italiotes were quite late In 
the adoption of writing, and to many nations this ability, the most needed 
for the spread of progress, remained unknown until the beginning of the 
Christian era, in some cases to this day. The Armenians are among 
those who long remained in ignorance of writing, and did we not 
have some scattered indications concerning their existence, from stray 
mentions by non-Armenian writers, we should be utterly without knowl- 
edge of their origin, just as we are today with regard to the Pelasgians, 
the Etruscans, the Basques, and so many other peoples whose names crop 

— SO — 

up constantly in history. Fortunately some passages of Herodotus, clear 
and exact like all that that great historian wrote, give us valuable affirm- 
ations concerning the beginnings of the Armenian people, and assist us 
in assessing the information we can glean from later writers, from 
archaeology, or from general historical data. 

In his enumeration of the Persian army, at the time 
ARMENIAN the Great King crossed the Hellespont on his onward 
BEGINNINGS march to Attica, Herodotus states concerning the con- 
tingents which Xerxes was given by Armenia: 

(according to Herodotus) 

"The Armenians were armed like the Phrygians of whom they are 
"a colony (1)." 

And, a few lines above: 

"According to the Macedonians, the Phrygians were called Briges 
"so long as they remained in Europe and dwelled with them; but when 
"they crossed into Asia they changed their name along with their country 
"and took that of Phrygians." 

We know how accurate were the statements of the Father of history, 

(1) HERODOTUS, VII, 73. 

— 51 — 

and all the care he took in collecting historic lore, also how scrupulously 
he quoted his authorities. In this case as elsewhere, when he speaks of 
oral traditions, his statements cannot be doubted. 

The definiteness with which Herodotus wrote concerning the Armeno- 
Phrygians shows his full reliance on the past memories of the Macedon- 
ians, although such traditions were already quite ancient, dating then a 
thousand years back. But the Macedonians had known the Phrygians in 
their midst before they left for Asia, and they must certainly have main- 
tained intercourse with these people who, there is every reason to believe, 
were related to them. The Armenians were then a section only, a tribe 
of the Briges, and following the destiny of the whole nation, they em- 
igrated with them. Phrygians, Armenians, and Macedonians, all be- 
longed to the great Aryan family. 


1st migration ca. 1250-300 B.C. 
2nd migration ca. A.D. 1000 
(The shading shows roughly the regions peopled today by the Armenians.) 

The passing of the Armenians through the Balkans is recorded in 
the history of Armenia of the patriarch John VI (1); for, although that 
writer's statements are manifestly based on a desire to link the early 

(1) Transl. E. BORE, Armenie, p. 74 

— 52 — 

Armenians to the Bible, it is none the less true that, accepting the 
theories of Biblical expositors who identify Torgom with Thrace (because 
of the similar consonantal sequence of the two names), the patriarch John 
was thus led to record his fellow-countrymen as having once lived in 
Macedonia, a memory still extant probably in his time in the traditions 
of the Armenian people. Perhaps John even had access to very ancient 
writings, since lost; in any case the traditions recorded by Herodotus 
together with many historical facts subsequent to the migration of the 
Armenians corroborate his opinion, as also do the affinities of language 
between this race and the other Aryan peoples who at that period took 
part in the invasions of Thrace, Asia Minor, and the eastern Mediterran- 
ean regions. 

Leaving the Balkan peninsula, wherv? they were lost among the 
other Indo-European hordes (who probably came from Central Asia 
via the Russian plains and the Danube valley), the Armenians crossed 
the Bosphorus, as Pliny affirms on the authority of ancient tradition (1). 
The names of the two Ascanian lakes, the one in Bithynia and the other 
in Pisidia (2), that of the Ascanian port (3), perhaps also that of the 
Ascanian Island (4), are undoubtedly so many sign-posts left by the 
migiations of Askenazou, the Ashkenaz of the Bible, i.e. by the Phrygians 
including the Armenians. 

This took place twelve or thirteen hundred 
CENTURIES B.C. years before our era, at the time the Hellenic world 
XII - VIII was so confused; but before the 8th century, the 

Phrygians and Armenians had already split, and 
the latter leaving their kinsmen in the mountains at the source of the 
Halys, had already advanced towards Cappadocia, taking advantage of 
the neglect this region was in since the fall of the Hittite empire. 

We do not know why the Armenians on crossing the Euphrates 
moved on to the Ararat region preferably; but we know that about 

(1) PLINY, Nat. Hist., V. 40. 

(2) STRABO, XII. — PLINY, Nat. Hist. XXXI, 10. Lake Isnik (Bithynia). 
and lake Burdur (Pisidia) . 

(3) PLINY, Nat. Hist. V. 32. 

(4) PLINY, Nat. Hist., V. 38 (in the Cyclades), 

— S3 — 

the time of their migration important moves were taking place in Asia 
Minor and the sea-coasts. The Hellenes were spreading all over the 
Black Sea shore, founding trading-posts and colonies; Trebizond & Sinope 
both date from this period (5). The kingdom of Urartu was disappearing 
(6), Nineveh even was falling (7), whilst the Scythians were ravaging all 
Western Asia. May not the settlement of the Armenians in their new 
homeland have been facilitated by the invasion of the northern hordes 
who perhaps were akin to them? It would seem plausible, for these in- 
vaders had just crushed the biggest States and sown ruin and desolation 
among the former tributaries of Assur. "There are Meshech and Tubal," 
cried Ezekiel, "and their graves are round about them." And this 
frightful disorder was most auspicious for the realization of the Haikan- 
ians' ambitions. 

At this period, about the end of the 8th cen- 
THE IRANIANS tury B.C., the Median power appeared in the East- 
8TH CENT. B.C. ern political world. In 713, Sargon subdued the 
small State of Dayakkou (Deiokes), and the suc- 
cessor of this Iranian ruler, Fravarti (Fraortes), annexed to his kingdom 
Persia proper, i.e. the countries south and south-east of Ecbatana. The 
new king of the Medes had regained advantage over the Assyrians and 
was harrying them so closely that he died under the very walls of 
Nineveh that he was besieging. 

With Cyaxares (Huvach-Chatra), Media reached the zenith of 
Its power, and, after the downfall of the Assyrian empire, this king and 
his ally Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, shared Asia between them. 
Ecbatana kept Assyria proper, seized the kingdom of Urartu, extended its 
sway over all the northern countries, and its armies advancing to the 
river Halys attacked even the kings of Lydia (585 B.C.). 

When in 559 the crown passed from the Medes to the Persians, the 
Armenians, already settled on the Erzerum plateau, were treated sim- 

(5) Trebizond was founded 756 B.C. and Sinope about 780 B.C. by the Milesians. 

(6) Sardnr III, who was apparently the last king of Urartn, sent an embassy to 
Assnrbanipal about 644 B.C. 

(7) 606 B.C. 

— 54 — 


ilarly to other peoples brought under 
Cyaxares' rule; the Achaemenids placed 
them in their 13th Satrapy, whilst the 
Urartaeans were joined to the Matians 
and the Saspires to form the 18th prov- 
ince. The text of Herodotus makes clear 
that in the 6th century the Armenians 
had not yet assimilated the Vannic pop- 

Some writers consider that the Armen- 
ians might be descended from the former 
subjects of the Argistis and Sardur 

monarchs. This hypothesis is contradicted by the above facts; it sets aside, 
moreover, both tradition and linguistic data. The two peoples were 
clearly distinct and had nothing In common. The Aryans, who were new- 
comers, caused the older inhabitants of Nairi and Van whom they grad- 
ually assimilated to lose their national characteristics and language, and 
soon all that remained of the once mighty Urartaeans were a few proper 
names preserved in the Armenian language. "The princely families of 
"Armenia, such as the Rechtuni, the Manavaz, the Biznuni, the Arz- 
"eruni — who reigned over the Van country until the 1 1th century of our 
"era, have kept the names of Rousas, Menuas, Ishpuinis, Argistis, de~ 
"rived from the ancient kings of Biaina. The fall of the kingdom of 
"Urartu did not therefore entail the disappearance of its vassals, who 
"were gathered into the main body of the Armenians, while keeping their 
"seignioral privileges." (1). 

This survival of names belonging to lost tongues in the speech of 
new-comers, is a logical phenomenon, and examples are plentiful in all 
languages. Latin contains a good number of Etruscan words, and in 
French we find names derived from Celtic and Ligurian vocabularies, as 
well, we may be sure, as those of people of the Stone Age. 

More than any other, the Armenian vocabulary presents great 
difficulties. Into this language there have entered terms from all the 
following tongues; Assyrian, Hebrew, Median, Kartvelian (Georgian, 
Mingrellan, Lazian), Urartaean (of Nairi), Scythian, Greek, Arabic, 

(1) KEVORK ASLAN, Etudes historiques du peuple armenien, p. df. 

— 55 — 

Turkish, Mongolian, Persian (old and modern), Kurdish, Latin, Russian,, 
and others. In analyzing the Kurdish vocabularies, (2) 1 have found in 
each dialect a large non-Aryan residue of indispensable elements, de- 
rived undoubtedly from lost languages, and the same thing is true with: 
the Armenian. 

This mixture of the Armenians with the more ancient populations 
to form the final nation deserves some consideration, necessitating our 
turning back to what composed the peoples of Western Asia in the 
Assyrian period. 

We have little authentic information as to the ethnic composition 
of the peoples living in Western Asia before it was invaded in the south 
by the Semitic element. The only languages in which any inscriptions 
have come down to us are the Sumerian and the Elamite in the south, 
the Hittite in the west, and the Vannic in the north. These tongues 
are neither Semitic nor Aryan; they belong to the group termed Turanian 
in which all non-Semitic and non-Aryan material has long been classified. 
Of these four languages, two only have yielded to scientific analysis, viz^ 
the Elamite and the Vannic. 

The Elamite, well known today through my own discoveries and the 
research of V. Scheil in the Susian texts, is shown by the latter to cover 
a duration of about two thousand years. It was still spoken by the 
Achaemenean Persians. The monosyllabic lOOts in Elamite are agglutina- 
tive, and the only reason that the resulting words can still be inflected 
simply, is that the agglutinative language has been influenced by a 
higher form of speech (the Semitic languages) from which it has borrowed 
the idea of Inflection without appropriating the forms thereof. 

The same is the case with Vannic, spoken in the Ararat regions 
(Urartu) In Assyrian times and quite distinct from the Semitic languages. 

These data together with the many proper names found In the 
Assyrian texts show that twenty centuries B.C. the greater part of Western 
Asia was inhabited by a non-Semitic and non-Aryan group of peoples. 
I do not mean by the word "group" that the languages spoken by these 
various peoples were inter-related; far from It; but I classify these non- 
Semitic and non-Aryan peoples as speaking languages less developed 
than those of the Semitic Invaders. The numerous Kartvelian tongues 
are apparently the last representatives today of that ethnic collection 

(2 Mission scientifique en Perse, Vol. V, 1st part. (Paris, 1904). 

— 56 — 

which some writers have called by the vague name of white allophylians. 
Meillet, in his Grammaire comparee de I'armenien classique, calls at- 
tention to grammatical affinities of Armenian with the Caucasian 
languages; these affinities have come about through contact with native 
populations in very early times, which is only natural. 

The first attempt to analyze scientifically the Georgian language is 
contained in an article by J. A. Gatteyrias; (1) and the learned translator 
of the Vannic inscriptions, Professor A. H. Sayce (2), recognized real 
connections between the language of Urartu and the speech of the 
Kartvelians. So that, on the one hand, Armenian contains Vannic terms 
and Kartvelian forms, and on the other, Vannic is not unconnected with 
the Caucasian tongues. These facts established by eminent linguists sup- 
port the hypothesis that the ancient inhabitants of Western Asia who were 
partly absorbed by the Armenians belonged to the same linguistic group 
as the modern Caucasians, 

The Assyrians described as "Peoples of Nairi" all the nations living 
between the sources of the river Halys and lake Urumiah as well as those 
dwelling further north, and did not confuse this group with the Mouchkou 
(Moschi), the Khati or Hittites, Koummoukh (Commagene), and the 
Kourkhi, stationed further south. They recognized therefore the 
ethnic connections of these populations. Urartu was the chief of all the 
Nairi Kingdoms. Lake Van was called the Nairi Sea, and the rulers of 
Dhouspana (Van) extended their sovereignty over the regions of 
Noumme (Erzerum), Kirouri (Mouch-Biths), Biaina (Van), Mouzazir 
(Bitlis-Salmas), Ahkouza (Qara-bagh-Erivan), and towards the north 
in the Lesser Caucasus chain. These are the very countries which the 
Armenians later conquered and made their realm. As for the people 
of Nairi, it is certain that they did not disappear. Some 
of them may have withdrawn into the mountains, but they were mostly 
absorbed by the new Aryan element, which was much more developed 
than the ancient inhabitants of Asia. The languages were lost and with 
their disappearance the memory of what Nairi was under the kings of 
LIrartu gradually faded out. 

Some traditions, however, were still extant in the first centuries of 
our era, for Moses of Khoren has left us a curious description of the city 

(1) Revue de Linguistique et de Philologie comparee. Vol. XIV, July 1881, p. 

(2) The Cuneiform Inscriptions, of Van, p. 411. 

— 57 — 

of Van and the works carried out by the kings of Urartu in Dhouspas, 
their capital, which works he attributes to the legendary Queen Semiramis. 





"Semiramis," he wrote, "having visited 

"many sites, arrived from the east at the 

"shore of the Salt Lake; she saw on its bank an 

"oblong hill exposed to the west throughout 

"its length, curving somewhat on the north.. 

"To the south a grotto standing straight up 

"to the sky, while a little further southward 

"she saw a flat valley, which, bordered on 

"the east by the mountain and lengthening: 

"and broadening out towards the lake, had 

"a glorious appearance. Across these 

"grounds, pure water coming down from 

"the mountain in gullies and valleys and 

"collecting at the foot of the mountains,, 

"ran in veritable rivers. Right and left of 

"these waters stood numerous villages in 

"the valley, and to the east of this smiling 

"hill, rose a small mountain. 

" Semiramis first had a cause- 

"way built along the river, with blocks of 
"rock cemented together with lime and 
"sand, a gigantic undertaking both in extent and height, and which, it is 
"said, still exists today. (2). This causeway, several stadia long, reaches to 
"the town ... By continuous labor, the Queen finished these wonderful 
"works in a few years and had them surrounded with strong walls and 
"brass gates. She built also in the city many magnificent palaces, adorned 
"with different stones of many colors, two or three stories high, each 
"one with a desirable southern aspect. She distinguished between the quart- 
"ers of the city by bright colors, divided them into wide streets, and built ap- 
"propriate hot baths in the center of the town, admirably fashioned. Di- 
"verting part of the river-water into the city, she had it canalized wher- 
"ever needed and for the watering of gardens and terraces ... All parts of 

(British Masenm) 

(1) Hist. cPArm. I, 16. 

(2) 4th century A.D. 

— 58 — 

"the city were adorned by her with fine buildings and leafy trees bearing 
"varieties of fruits and foliage. She made the walled section of the city 
"magnificent and glorious on all sides, and drew inside an immense popula- 

" . . . . Semiramis garrisoned the tops of the walls, arranged entrances 
"difficult of access, and erected a royal palace with terrible dungeons. 

"On the eastern side of the grotto, where the stone is still so hard 
"that it has a keen edge, were built palaces, rooms, cellars for treasure- 
"houses, and long galleries. No one knows how ever these marvellous 
"constructions were raised. On all the stone surfaces are many inscrip- 
"tions, chiselled as though on wax. All who behold such marvellous 
"achievement are in wonderment, — but we will say no more. In many 
"other districts of Armenia the Queen caused to be carved on stone the 
"record of different events; at many points she had steles erected, similarly 

Such, according to tradition, was how in the first centuries of our 
era the Armenians thought of the city of Van, in the district of Tosp, 
province of Vaspouraken. A thousand years had elapsed since the fall 
of the Urartu kingdom, the inscriptions of the rulers of Ararat were no 
longer understood by anyone, and the history of Assyria's mighty enemies 
was lost in the mists of oblivion. There was no remembrance even that 
a great independent kingdom had existed on the plateau before the ar- 
rival of the Armenian patriarch and his companions-in-arms. Imposing 
ruins at Van remained to excite the imagination of travelers. Moses of 
Khoren visited them, and has handed us down the legends that were cur- 
rent regarding them in his day. 

In any case, documents we possess show that the 

MIGRATIONS Armenian advance from Cappadocia to the plateau of 

OF THE Erzerum took place during the 8th and 7th centuries 

ARMENIANS B.C., and that at least six hundred years before our 

era, the nation already occupied some of the districts 

in the neighborhood of Ararat and lake Van (1). In their march eastward, 

(1) Until recently it was believed that the Armenian exodus from Phrygia took 
place about the end of the 7th century B.C. (Maspero), but we must move back 
considerably the date of this event, for (according to Belck and Lehmann) an in- 
scription of Menouas ( 828-784) places them in Cappadocia in the 8th century (N. 
DOLENS & A. KHATCH, Hist. anc. des Arm., p. 34). However the migration may 
have been in several waves, some Armenian tribes still dwelling in Cappadocia while 
others had gone forward to the east. Moreover, the reading of Urmani or Armeni 
on the Maltai inscription is still in doubt. (Cf. S. Ac. Wissensch., Berlin, 1900, p. 621). 

— 59 — 

the Armenians had driven back the Mouchkou and Khaldis tribes, as also 
other clans of the Nairi land mentioned in the Assyrian inscriptions as 
living in the valleys of the upper Euphrates. 

It is probable, as we have just seen, that the Nairi peoples belonged 
to the same racial stock as the Lazi, the Mingrelians, and Georgians of 
our time. Some of these nations were absorbed by the Armenians, and 


the others who withdrew before them into the north, seem to have re- 
mained ever since unchanged; they took with them in their hearts a hatred 
of the invader, and this ill-will has persisted throughout the centuries, 
ever apparent in the hostility of the Caucasians to the usurpers of the 
land of their forefathers. This enmity the Georgians still cherished some 
years ago, even though the memory of their erstwhile misfortunes had so 
long disappeared. 

It is noticeable that the Kartvelians have remained divided into 
clans speaking different dialects of the same linguistic group, with no 
political connection with one another, and often mutually hostile 
as they used to be in the time of the kings of Urartu. This persistance in 
speech and traditions leads us to believe that in the Caucasians we see to- 
•day the remains of the primitive peoples conquered by the Armenians. 

The results of the great revolutions which at the beginning of history 
disquieted Asia are not at all clear to us; our only source of knowledge, 

— 60 — 

the Assyrian inscriptions, stop short with the downfall of Nineveh, and 
there remained in Urartu no more rulers able to continue the recording of 
deeds and events such as the Argistis and Sardur kings formerly engraved 
on the rocks of Van. As for all those peoples who were destitute of the art 
of writing, they receded into the oblivion from which for a few cen- 
turies they were rescued by the triumphant inscriptions of the Ninivite 
monarchs. Thereafter a thick fog descends on Asiatic history, and this 
mist lasts until the Achaemenids ascend the Persian throne. 

The beginnings of the Armenian people in the Masis land are dimly 
recorded by Moses of Khoren (1), but as the documentation that this 
writer states he obtained from Mar-Apas-Katina (2) was systematically 
garbled by himself, it is very difficult to utilize the names he gives to the 
early heroes of Armenia. Haik, who apparently led the nation in their 
march from Cappadocia to the Ararat country, is said to have had four 
sons: Cadmos, Khor, Manawaz, and Armenak. The last-named, 
one of the heroes of the nation, (3) had a son called Aramais, the 
ancestor of Amasia, father of Kegham, who begat Harma, the father of 

The Assyrian empire, as we have seen, had been destroyed and re- 
placed by that of the Medes. We know that the latter extended their 
empire to the river Halys, to the borders of the territory of Croesus, for 
at that period the kingdom of Lydia took in all Asia Minor except Lycia 
and Cilicia (558 B.C.). Perhaps the domination of the Mermnads caused 
the Armenians to leave Phrygia; in any case they were already on the 
Erzerum plateau when the sceptre passed from the hands of the Medes 
to that of the Persians. Cyrus took only three years (549-546) to subdue 
the northern lands and conquer ancient Urartu together with all Asia 
Minor, and it is likely that the Armenians had to endure the Median yoke 

(1) The chief Armenian historian, who lived at the end of the 4th century of 
our era. (Cf. V. LANGLOIS. Hist. Armen. Transl. Paris, 1869, Vol II, p. 47). 

(2) Mar-Ihas (or Apas) Katina (in Syriac, the subtle one), according to Moses 
of Khoren, was commissioned by king Vagharchak (Valarsace) of Armenia about 
149 B.C. to search in the records of the southern Semites for everything relating to 
the ancient history of the Armenians. This statement is, moreover, very questionable, 
and it is believed today that no such person ever existed, and Moses used him each 
time as a mouthpiece for the traditions and legends still current in his day. 

(3) The Armenians call themselves Haikians. As for the name Armenia, At- 
minia, Armaniya, of foreign extraction, this is apparently an appellation of a part 
of the country subsequently taken to comprise all of it. Haik is the eponym of the 
race of people entitled Hay or Haikazn (descendants of Haik). 

— 61 — 


prior to that of the Persians, for in all probability they established them- 
selves towards the end of the period of confusion following the Ninivite 
downfall and preceding the accession of the Achaemenids. 

According to Moses of Khoren, Haik, ( 1 ) the hero 
who gave his name to the race, was the son of Thorgom, 
the son of Thiraz, the son of Gomer, the son of Japhet. 
This genealogy which is entirely Biblical, perhaps cor- 
responds to general ethnic fact, but it should not be considered as based 
on Armenian traditions, and therefore as corroborative of the tabulation 
of peoples in Genesis. Moses of Khoren confesses that he himself made 
it out "from what he had discovered as certain in the ancient Histories, 
and to the best of his ability." These last words set the seal of improba- 
bility on all his narratives of events with which that writer was not 

The first four names of this genealogical list are taken from Genesis, 
there is no doubt, and these borrowings took place in the first centuries of 

our era, when Armenia was becoming 
Christian, for the altered form of 
Thorgom, from Togharmah, is found 
nowhere except in the Greek version of 
the Bible, called the Septuagint. It was, 
therefore, from that version of the Scrip- 
tures that the first Armenian chron- 
ologists took the family tree which they 
adopted. Besides, with the newly con- 
verted Christians, the general tendency 
was to link up their racial origin with 
the Bible, and the non-Aryan Georgians, 
who were completely foreign to the Ar- 
menians, did not hesitate about the same time to call themselves like- 

•//77 ^ 




(from Genesis, ch. X) 

(1) The name of Ha'ik has given rise to much research and study. All the re- 
sources of etymology have been invoked, often beyond permissible scientific limits, 
and none of the proposed solutions are acceptable. The most rational is the sup- 
position that Hay (pati) means chief, as Hayr (pater) means paternal authority. 
It is impossible to give any date to this legendary person who undoubtedly was one 
of the great leaders of the Armenian people, but whose role has certainly been en- 
larged by tradition, as is the case with all heroes. It would seem best therefore to 
leave to Haik his mystical value and to use his name only as a symbol of the origin 
and displacements of the Armenians previous to their forming a nation in the Ararat 
region. Ohannes in Chaldea, Menes in Egypt, Abraham among the Jews, Romulus 
with the Latins, are hardly any more definite as figures than is Haik to the Armenians; 
each nation attributing to a single head its birth-throes. 

— 62 — 

wise the sons of Thargamos. The juxtaposition of these two pseudo- 
traditions shows what credence can be given to the stories of the early 
Christian historians concerning national origins. (1). 

In a curious passage of his History, Moses of Khoren (2), thoroughly 
imbued with his readings, indulges in a strange mixing of heathen and 
Biblical traditions: (3). 

"Terrible, extraordinary," (he writes), "were the first gods, who 
■"created the chief blessings of this world, the principles of the Universe and 
^'of human reproduction. The race of the Giants stood out apart, a race 
^'endowed with terrible strength, a race invincible and of enormous stat- 
^'ure. They in their pride conceived and brought forth the plan to build 
■'"the tower [Babel]. They had set themselves to the task, but a furious 
■"and heaven-sent wind, the breath of the wrath of the gods, overturned 
^'the edifice. The gods, having given each of these men a language that 
*'the rest understood not, spread trouble and confusion among them. 
■"One of these men was Haik of the seed of Japhetos, a famous chieftain, 
^'mighty and skillful to draw the bow. (4)" 

But Moses did not confine himself to these fables, he also re- 
published an old tradition peculiar to the Armenian nation, a narrative 
that agrees on the whole with the Macedonian legends handed down to 
us through Herodotus. 

"As for Ha'ik," wrote the Syrian historian, (5) "he went off with 
"the others of his company to the north-east, and settled on a plain 
^'called Hark (6) or the plain of the Fathers, i.e. the fathers of the race 
of Thorgom. Then he built a village which he called Haikaschen, mean- 
*'ing built by Hoik. In the center of this plateau (7), near a mountain 
■^'of great width of base (8), some men were already settled, and these 
"willingly put themselves under the hero." 

(1) See inter alia, JORNANDES: De la Succession des temps, a book in which 
the writer commits the same abuse of Biblical tradition. 

(2) According to Mar-Apas-Katina (Cf. V. LANGLOIS, op. cit.. Vol. I, p. 15). 

(3) The date at which Mar-Apas-Katina is supposed to have lived, if he ever 
■did, is uncertain. This writer found, according to Moses of Khoren, in the archives 
of the Persian kings a manuscript translated from Chaldean into Greek by order 
of Alexander the Great, History of the First Ancestors. The book of Mar-Apas-Katina 
was said to have been translated into Syriac, then into Armenian, before being sum- 
marized by Moses of Khoren. Quatremere considers that the History of the First 
Ancestors was only the work of Berosis. 

(4) "We know that the tower of Babel was the giant Ziggnrat, the rains of 
-which still stand on the site of Babylon. 

(5) Transl. V. LANGLOIS, vol. I, p. 17. 

(6) District of Hark, in Dourouperan. 

(7) Plateau of Erzerum. 

(8) Rather the Bin-Gheul, than Ararat. 

— 63 — 

One could hardly sum up more succinctly in a few lines the history 
of the migration of the Armenians from Cappadocia to the land where they 
still live today. 

Starting from the old Chaldeo-Hebrew legends and drawing as their 
fancy dictated on the Semitic traditions, the Armenians, following the 
example of the so-called Mar-Apas-Katina, related in their writings that 
an invasion by Belus took place in the Erzerum and Van regions for the 
purpose of putting an end to Haik's conquests. No mention is made of 
the Assyrians, the Modes, the Urartians, or of the Nairi peoples; Belus 
personifies all the opposition which the new-comers met with. (1) But, 
they add, Belus was defeated and killed in the battle of Haiotztor, and this 
event is placed by the native chronologists at 2350 B.C. (2) This date 
needs to be brought down about eighteen hundred years, to give any 
likelihood to the narrative, for in the 24th century B.C. the ancestors of 
the Armenians were certainly still mingled with their Aryan brothers in 
the Indo-European cradle-land and were far from the Danube and the 
Thracian mountains. The Assyrian empire and the kingdom of Urartu 
were not yet born, and the Semites of Chaldaea were still stationed in 
southern Mesopotamia and the seaboard. 

On the one hand, in this fanciful and confused rehearsal of the 
struggles the Armenians had to maintain to conquer their new domain, 
we certainly see the remembrance of the opposition put up against the ad- 
vancing newcomers by the newly emancipated vassals of Assyria, and 
doubtless by the Urartaeans. On the other hand, the Ninivite kingdom 
although tottering remained unfallen for some years yet (3), and the 
kings of Assur, very disquieted by the Median tribes uniting in a single 
State, and threatened by the Babylonians, in addition to the anxiety 
caused by the Scythians entering the Asiatic scene, could not bear to 
have fresh adversaries encamped on their Empire's northern borders. 

(1) To the early Armenian chroniclers, Chamiram (Semiramis) symbolized 
Assyria, as Ara did the lands of Nairi and Urartu. 

(2) The first Armenian chronologists show Haik as followed by thirty-six 
patriarchs (2350-870 B.C.). Then, seventeen kings ruled, from 870 to 330 B.C. But 
recent books give the names of these people only for the record. (Cf. at the end 
of this volume, in the Appendix, the list of legendary patriarchs and kings, according 
to K. J. BASMADJIAN, Chron. de FHist. de TArmenie, in Revue de TOrient chretien, 
vol. XIX, 1914.) 

(3) The name of the Armenians does not appear in the Assyrian inscriptions. 
We must conclude that the conquest of Armenia by Haik took place in the last days 
of the Assur monarchy only, perhaps even a little later than the fall of Assyria. 

— 64 — 

They failed, however, and "Belus having been vanquished and killed 
by Haik", the Armenians were able to establish their dominion over the 
Erzerum regions. 

The occupation of Western Asia by the 
THE SCYTHIANS Scythians lasted, according to Herodotus, twenty- 
eight years; that of Armenia and Transcaucasia 
by them was certainly much longer, for the hordes from the north had 
only a single road whereby to join the bulk of their nation, and this road 
passed by the gorges of Derbend or the so-called Gate of the Alans (1). 
Few of them, however, returned to their northern steppes; they mostly 
settled in the districts of the upper Halys river and of the river Thermodon 
and gradually disappeared, lost in the adjacent nations, the Cappadocians, 
the Phrygians, the Armenians, Moschi, and Tibarenes. We find no trace, 
however, in Armenian chronicles of any Scythian domination, and this 
silence leads us to suppose either that the Armenians were related to the 
northern nomads or that they made their migration to the east after the 
scourge had past. In the first case, far from being hostile to Haik's war- 
riors, the Scythians would have helped them realize their aims. In the 
second, the Armenians would only have taken advantage of the general 
disorder that followed this invasion. 

We have seen that the Armenians arrived 

CONQUEST OF in Thrace at the same time as other branches 

ARMENIA BY HAIK of the Aryan family, and that all these peoples 

came from the East via the Russian steppes. 
Nations belonging to the same ethnic group ascended at the same time 
the valley of the Danube and reached western Europe, whilst others 
spread over the countries of central Europe. The Ligurians and our 
ancestors the Gauls no doubt belonged to one of these tidal waves of 
humanity, for they had already been long settled in the west of the old 
world when, six hundred years B.C., the Greeks came into contact with 
them on the Mediterranean coast. 

That was the time of those invasions the various elements of which 

(1) Gorges of the Dariall in Ossetia, in the center of the Greater Caucasus. 

— 65 — 

went to make up the world of our classical ancient times, a world which 
developed for a period of two thousand years, from the 15th century B.C. 
to the 5th century of our era, and which finally achieved world leadership. 
For although two thousand years later other waves, also from the East 
and over the same roads, changed for a time the face of the old world, 
sowing ruin and plunging Europe back into barbarism, yet the elements 
of the first invasions survived and gave birth to our modern States, to 
those nations which in the last few centuries have carried their impetus 
to the four corners of the globe. 

During the disorders that reigned in Asia, the Armenians, established 
in their newly conquered homeland, remained unshakable, and by their 
courage preserved to this day their nationality, language, and customs, 
— whereas almost all the peoples whom they had known in their early 
days disappeared from the earth. Their brothers, the Phrygians, are 
only now a dim memory. Alone among their contemporaries, the Hel- 
lenes, the Italiotes, and the Gauls overcame the cataclysms, not however 
without receiving many admixtures and forsaking many of their former 
customs. But apart from the Greeks, we must not seek any kinship with 
the Armenians in modern nations; only in those nations that were brought 
from the northern steppes to the Mediterranean shores by the same 
tidal wave that carried the ancestors of Haik to Thrace. And those 
peoples have unfortunately for the most part been engulfed for very many 
centuries in the darkness of oblivion. 

Such in their main lines are the beginnings of the Armenian people. 
We have sufficient documentation to ascertain satisfactorily the chief 
phases of the development of this ancient nation, but not to permit of 
detailed accounts. It is certain, nevertheless, that the proud lineage of 
the race goes back to over three thousand years ago and is considerably 
more ancient than that of most European peoples. India and China, des- 
pite their fanciful legends, hardly show such remote beginnings. Only the 
old nations of Western Asia, the Syrians, the Chaldeans, the Kurds 
(Medes), and in North Africa, the Egyptians, have more ancient an- 
cestral records. As for the Persians, their political life did not begin 
until about the time that Armenia achieved statehood, and Rome was 
not founded until the time that Haik's people were leaving Cappadocia. 

— 66 

Armenian is an Indo-European language (1), 
THE ARMENIAN i.e. it belongs to the western branch of the Aryan 
LANGUAGE family, and evolved in a parallel direction with 

Creek and other tongues, most of them now lost, 
that were spoken in the central and eastern Mediterranean world about 
1,000 B.C. But, due to the Armenians settling in the Ararat regions, 
their language, while keeping its main grammatical forms, became per- 
meated with very many elements taken from subject peoples, from the 
various overlords of Armenia, and from neighboring nations. The suc- 
cessive sway of Medes, Achaemenian Persians, Parthians, Sassanids, Mace- 
donians, Byzantines, Arabs, and Turks has given fresh verbal roots to the 
Armenian vocabulary, but the general characteristics of the language 
remain (2). There are no inscriptions to show us the ancient form of 
Armenian, and the primitive tongue can be reconstituted only theoreti- 
cally, because until the Christian era the Armenians had no writing. 
Their Phrygian brothers were better advised in this respect, but when 
the latter under Hellenic influence adopted writing, the Armenians had 
probably already separated from them. 

Moses of Khoren complains bitterly of the ignorance his country- 
men were in prior to their conversion tc Christianity and explains it by 
the fact that they had no written language of their own. We know there- 
fore for certain that the Armenians did not have, during their migrations, 

(1) Until a few years ago there was the greatest confusion generally as to the 
ethnical character of the peoples who lived in western Asia in ancient times. Some 
writers on the strength of superficially noted physical features, looked on the Ar- 
menians as Semitic, others classed them with the Urartaeans or the Hittites. Renan 
{Hist, des Langues semitiques, vol. I, p. 11, par. 1) rightly considers the ancestors 
of the Armenians to have been in all probability settlers of Indo-Germanic origin, 
but he thinks they went from Babylon to occupy a land populated by Semitic people. 
J. Oppert (La Peuple et la Langue des Medes) writing at about the same time as- 
cribed to the Medes the lines on the third column of the trilingual Achaemenean 
inscriptions, whereas actually these were in the Neo-Susian language, the ancient form 
of which has been made known of late years by the many inscriptions discovered 
at Susa. Thanks to the Assyrian and Old Persian versions of these valuable tri- 
lingual inscriptions, J. Oppert had been able, not only to give us a correct trans- 
lation of the neo-Susian texts, but also to set forth the grammatical rules and glos- 
sary of this non-Aryan and non-Semitic language. But then, not knowing its 
authors, he ascribed it to the Medes who as we know today were Indo-Iranians like 
the Persians. These errors, which were then common, have been a great hindrance 
to understanding the historical facts. 

(2) Vide the Grammair critique de I'arnienien moderne (Vienna, 1903) of 
M. MEILLET, a basic and authoritative work on the origin of the Armenian 
language. The writer in his introduction admits that after the 6th or 7th centuries 
B.C. this language borrowed much from a non-cognate tongue. He thinks these 
borrowings are from the speech of the "old inhabitants". 

— 67 — 

the means of recording their thought. No doubt when they were in Cap- 
padocia, they knew the Hittite hieroglyphics (2) but the latter system of 
writing, full of ideograms, did not lend itself to phonetic transcription. 
Agathangelus, Moses of Khoren, Lazarus of Pharp, agree with Diodorus 
of Sicily and Polyaenus, in stating that for drawing up deeds, for cor- 
respondence, and the documents needed for daily life, the Armenians for 
a long time used Greek, Persian (Pehlevi), and Syriac letters. They 
perhaps tried to use the Persian cuneiforms which are known to be phone- 
tic derivatives of the Chaldeo-Assyrian system, seeing that ideographic 
signs had been used in Urartu as well as by several non-Semitic peoples 
of Western Asia. But this attempt, if it was made was short-lived, and 
the example shown by the Persians does not seem to have been followed 
by the Armenians, the Medes, the Kartvelians, or the Nairi peoples. 
We indeed possess no inscriptions left by these nations. 

The Russian archaeological Commission discovered in 1900 near Ani, 
on a vase in a cemetery, a curious hieroglyphic or pictographic inscription 
which seems to be of great antiquity and which appears to show that 

before the time of the Vannic cunei- 
- forms in this region, perhaps during 
the period of the Urartu kingdom, the 
predecessors of the Armenians in the 
plain of Erivan used a very primitive 

HIEROGLYPHIC INSCRIPTION ^^^P^^^ ^^^^7' '^}''' atte^ipt does 
AT ANI ^°^ seem to have been followed up, 

for it is an isolated case. It proves, 
however, that from the remotest times the peoples of Transcaucasia felt 
the need of expressing their thought. The revolutions that occurred pre- 
vented the development of this primitive conception, which we only men- 
tion for the record. 

At the time Haik arrived in Armenia, a phonetic writing which was to 
have a famous future was already in current use in Western Asia, viz. the 

(2) The recent German excavations at Boghaz-Keui have brought to light a 
large number of slate tablets with cuneiform characters in the Hittite language, and 
from certain words Winckler deduces in the latter the existence of Indo-European 
connections. If this be so the Hittites would be the first precursors of the Aryan 
migrations; but these linguistic resemblances are too uncertain to be accepted. 
Besides, the Hittite system of hieroglyphics is known to be independent of the 
Egyptian, and it would be strange for an Aryan people to work out for themselves 
a system of ideographic writing without any of their fellow-Aryans having the same 

— 68 — 

Aramaean alphabet. Originating in Phoenicia, it had spread into As- 
syria and Chaldaea for current documentary purposes, and had also 
reached Arabia, developing differently in each country. Undoubtedly 
the Armenians knew this writing, but it was created for Semitic lan- 
guages in which the consonants play the chief part, and the Aramaean 
alphabet was unsuited to the sounds of the Aryan languages which have 
inflections mainly based on vowels; the Armeno-Phrygians, unlike the 
Greeks, did not know how to complete it to fit their need. The Persians 
were more far-seeing; they composed the Zend alphabet to transcribe the 
sacred books of the Avesta. This innovation, however, was at a much 
later period, subsequent to the formation of the Pehlevi language. 

Philostrates states that in the time of Arsaces (ISO B.C.) the Ar- 
menians had a system of writing of their own, but this assertion, which 
contradicts all that Moses of Khoren says on the subject, has no inscrip- 
tions to support it, and seems inadmissible. 

The Armenian language, basically, constructively, and as regards its 
roots, is definitely Indo-European, a point that must be emphasized. It 
differs from the eastern Aryan group, i.e. from the tongues of Iran, Old 
Persian, Zend, Pehlevi, Kurdish, Ossetian, etc. in the same way as do 
European languages. However, in its various provincial forms, it Is today 
frequently mixed with Semitic, Caucasian, Iranian, and Altaic elements, 
due to the long contact that the descendants of Haik's warriors had with 
populations speaking languages of those groups. The Perslan-Pehlevi 
language, among others, on account of the domination of the Parthians 
and the Sassanids, has left very many traces in the vocabulary. As for 
medieval Armenian and the modern literary language, which are much 
purer in this respect, they are on account of their flexibility first-class 
mediums of thought. The Armenian language has thus been very well 
preserved throughout the centuries, at least in its grammatical forms, 
despite the vicissitudes of the people who speak it. Like all forms of 
speech, it has just developed. 

Together with the tradition of language, 
RELIGION OF THE of capital Importance to the preservation of 
ARMENIANS national character, there were the ancestral re- 

ligious beliefs of the Armenians. They cer- 

— 69 — 

tainly had a national Pantheon, and in all probability it was very nearly 
akin to that of the Phrygians and fitted in with the religious ideas of the 
whole group of Indo-European peoples (1). Finding themselves, how- 
ever, through their conquests in contact with the Semites of Assyria, the 
aons of Ha'ik adopted some of their southern neighbors' divinities (2). 
The god Barchamin mentioned by Moses of Khoren, and called Barcham 
the Assyrian by Anania of Chirak, is none other than the Parchimnia of 
the Semites. The statue of this god, long worshipped throughout Armenia, 
was one day carried into Mesopotamia by Tigranes II, the son of Ar- 
tashes. In another place, in the town of Erez, stood the golden image of 
the goddess Anahit, the Semitic Anahita, and according to Pliny, this 
statue was worshipped both by Asiatic and western peoples. The precious 
idol was among the booty captured from the Parthians by Marcus Aure- 
lius, and ended up by being destroyed by Tiridates when Christianity was 
introduced into Armenia. 

In the village of Thil stood the statue of the great Chaldaean god- 
dess Nana, assimilated to the Artemis of the Greeks, and when in sub- 
sequent centuries, under Persian influences, the Armenians accepted offi- 
cially the Mazdean religion, Ahoura-Mazda was given by them the name 
of the "Father of the Gods". Losing his Iranian qualities, he became a 
sort of Zeus in relation to the ancestral divinities. 

This conversion of Armenia to the Zoroastrian cult, which seems 
to have been only very superficial, did not shut out the gods worshiped 
by Haik's warriors; Persian influence, along with the fear of a Sassanid 
invasion, made the conversion necessary. The inclusion of Barchamin, 
Anaita, Nana, and other Semitic gods in the Armenians' holy places was 
due also to the need on the part of the rulers to help onward the assimi- 
lation of the peoples whose lands they had invaded. These gods of 
Semitic origin were worshipped among all of Assyria's vassals, and it was 
necessary not to wound the religious convictions of the subdued nations. 
The great god of Urartu, Khaldis, very probably had likewise his altars 
beside those of Bagdias, the Phrygian Jupiter. 

In short, the Armenian pantheon in the century prior to the intro- 
duction of Christianity among this people, was derived from a variety 
of sources. To the ancestral gods were added those of Persia, of the 
Mesopotamian Semites, of Syria, and of the Greek pantheon, — but in 

(1) Strabo (vol. XI, p. 19) tells us that in the temples of Acilicene, the Ar- 
menians observed mysteries resembling those of the Hellenes. 

(2) This hospitality to foreign gods was widely practised by the Romans. 

— 70 — 

most cases these divinities represented assimilations rather than innova- 
tions. Among all Indo-Europeans the deities were extremely numerous, 
and so the Armenians easily found room in their pantheon for the gods 
of their neighbors, of their overlords, and of the nations they themselves 
subdued. The names of their gods are almost all Iranian. The off- 
spring of Ormazd (Ahura-Mazda), originally seven in number, later 
numbered ten. A4ihr, Anahit, Nanea, Barchamin, Astlik, Tiur, are the 
chief ones, followed by Vahakn and Spandaramat. But ranking above 
all the gods was Vanatur, the god of the New Year who lavished his bless- 
ings on men, and whose supposed existence, peculiar to the Armenian 
people, seems to go back to the earliest days of their nation. In addition, 
the naturistic beliefs of the Indo-Europeans had under Persian influence 
become personified in Armenia in the form of good and evil genii. 

Hellenism brought no new gods, but a number of assimilations, most 
of them quite relative. Ormazd became Zeus, Mihr was confused with 
Hephaestus, Anahit with Artemis, Nana with Athena, Astlik with Aphro- 
dite, Tiur with Helios, Vahakn with Heracles or Ares, etc. As for the 
beliefs themselves, they seem to have undergone little change. 

Every province, every district, had its local god or its protecting 
deities. The chief temple of Anahit was at Eriza (Erzindjan), but this 
goddess also had holy places at Armavir, Artaxata, in the district of 
Taron, and elsewhere. Astlik, the goddess of Pleasure, was worshipped 
on the shores of lake Van. 

We have very little information as 
to the original religious ideas of the Ar- 
menians, but there are some indications 
that like most of their fellow-Aryans 
they started with Nature worship, which 
gradually was transformed to produce 
the national Pantheon. In any case, 
reverence for the ancestral gods was so 
deeply rooted in the people, that it sur- 
vived despite all temptations and attacks. 
This tenacity of religious convictions, 
moreover has never weakened among 
the Armenians since the time of Christianity, for few nations have had 
the strength to keep their faith so much alive for centuries and centuries, 
amid the most terrible persecutions. 



When he became master of the Persians and 
PERSIAN PERIOD the Medes, Darius I. the son of Hystaspes, had 
to assume the heavy task of strengthening and 
organizing the empire of Cyrus, and anxiety concerning the borders of 
his dominions compelled him to seize the Armenian stronghold. He had 
to have rule over the Erzerum plateau, not only to avert dangers that 
might arise from that mountain massif if it remained held by an energetic 
and independent people, but also to keep in check the turbulent tribes 
of the Phasis and Cyrus valleys, and to control the northern hordes who 
were a standing threat. The barrier of the Greater Caucasus stood like 
a formidable wall against the Scythians of whom Western Asia had ter- 
rible memories, but it was necessary to hold the foot of this rampart and 
close the Caspian Gates and Dariall. He had then first of all to make 
sure of Armenia. Once Armenia was occupied, the Great King's only 
remaining frontier care was on the Oxus, the steppes of which were then 
inhabited by the famous Massagetes, in whose territory Cyrus lost his 
life, and by other no less formidable Scythian nations. 

But this great Persian State, so speedily founded by Cyrus, was 
based on feudal principles. Each people had kept its laws and its hered- 
itary rulers, and consequently the palace revolution which resulted after 
Cyrus' death in Darius' accession reverberated among the vassals of the 
Empire and revolts broke out in most of the provinces. Armenia, in the 
hope of gaining freedom, joined the coalition of the northern peoples, and 
was perhaps even its instigator. 

The Persians fought bitterly against the Armenians, judging by the 
accounts on the famous stele of Bisoutoun (1), the only inscription of 
note that remains to us concerning the wars that resulted in the empire 
of the Achaemenids. 

Darius I. relates himself the campaigns he had to conduct to over- 
come the obstinate resistance of the Armenians whose country though 
included in his dominions certainly still enjoyed considerable independence. 

There is reason to believe that, either by force or by stratagem, the 
Persians succeeded in dividing the Armenians. The political structure 
of the latter was also on the feudal system, for it was an Armenian in the 
service of the Achaemenids, surely a traitor to his country, that the King 

(1) Bi-soutoun (without columns), the modern name of Behistoun (in Persian, 
Baghistana). These inscriptions were carved about 500 B.C. by order of Darius I. 
son of Hystaspes. 

— 72 — 

commissioned to crush a national uprising, called by him a revolt. The 
tiara of a Satrapy was no doubt to be the felon's reward. 

The record in stone reads thus: 

''And Darius, the King, said: An Armenian named Dadarses, my 
"servant, I sent into Armenia. I spoke in this 
"manner to him: "Go against the army of the 
"rebels that say they are not mine; kill them!" 
"Then Dadarses set forth. When he arrived 
"in Armenia, the rebels massed together and 
"went out against Dadarses to battle. Then 
DOUBLE GOLDEN DARIC ;;Dadarses fought them. There was a fortress 
OF THE ACHAEMENIDS named Zura m Armenia. 1 here Urmazd was 

"my support. By the favor of Ormazd my 
"army killed many of the rebels' army. This was the eighth day of the 
"month Thuravashara [May-June, 519 B.C.] that this battle was fought 

A second encounter took place near the city named Tigra (June 519), 
and a third one the same month against a fortress called Ethyama. But 
in his narratives, Darius speaks only of the losses sustained by the enemy, 
without saying if his troops were victorious. 

It seems likely, however, that the Persians under Dadarses did not 
meet with all the success expected by the King of Kings, or else this per- 
son who was undoubtedly an Armenian prince fell under his suspicion, 
for shortly after the above expedition Darius replaced him by a Persian 
general named Omises. 

On their side, the Armenians apparently advanced to well beyond 
their frontier, and were subsequently the victors in the campaign against 
Darius. It was indeed in Assyria, probably in the southern buttresses 
of the Armenian Taurus that Omises met and defeated the insurgents 
towards the end of that year. A decisive battle seems according to the 
inscriptions to have been fought in May 518 B.C. in a district called 
Antyarus, a location we cannot identify. However, the Achaemenean 
statements contradict the facts as a whole, for Omises, afraid to commit 
himself and enter enemy territory, perhaps because of reverses, deemed 
it wiser to wait for his master, then engaged in besieging Babylon, to 
come and pacify in person the north of his empire. 

(2) Transl. J. Oppert, in Le Peuple et la Langue des Medes, p. 127 sq. 

— 73 — 

These battles of the armies of Darius I. against the Armenians arc 
the oldest records of Armenian prowess that have come down to us, but 
before them there were certainly some expeditions of Cyrus into the 
Ararat massif. These wars succeeded long efforts on the part of Haik's 
descendants to conquer their new homeland, so that about 520 B.C. the 
Armenian people had already acquired much experience in the art of 
war. According to the testimony of the Achaemenids themselves, it was 
the Persians who had to repulse attacks, and not the Armenians who 
were obliged to drive back from their land the soldiers of Omises. 

These few lines, written by their enemy, are entirely to the credit 
of the Armenian nation. They show this people, two centuries after their 
settling in their land, a regularly constituted State, conscious of sufficient 
strength to dare to cross swords with the cohorts of the Immortals. Per- 
haps also this uprising was a coalition of the northern peoples seeking 
to compel Darius to raise the siege of Babylon. In any case, the campaign 
of Omises and the way his undertaking terminated, place Armenia at the 
end of the 6th century B.C. in the position of a Power playing a very 
important part In the general political life of the East. 

Inevitably, however, despite their valor, the Armenians had to suc- 
cumb to numerical force, and so after the above wars we see their country 
included in the 13th Satrapy of the Persian Empire, together with the 
districts of the Ligyes and the Carducii, whilst the mountains of the 
Lesser Caucasus not yet settled by the Armenians but inhabited by the 
Saspires and the Alarodii were placed in the 18th Satrapy along with the 
Macrones and the Moschi of Lazistan, and the Matienes of Central Kurd- 
istan and Aberzaidjan. It would seem that at this period the Armenians 
had not yet reached the middle valley of the Araxes, that they owned, 
it is true, the provinces of Van and Erzerum, but their main center was 
rather towards the Euphrates, at the modern site of the town of Erzind- 
jian, on the road leading from Cappadocia to Ararat. In this connection, 
however, we can only surmise. 

The peoples of the 18th Satrapy, hardly yet subdued by the Persians 
and hostile to the Armenians, encircled the latter on the north and east 
in a vast semi-circle, whereas towards the east and south-east the royal 
army kept watch on the great stronghold. 

The power of the Achaemenean empire, like that later of the 
Parthians and the Sassanids, rested on the feudal system, a conception 

— 74 — 


of government which the Iranians took 
from Assyria, Chaldaea and Elam, and 
which corresponded moreover to the 
traditions of the Aryas formerly divided 
into clans on the steppes. The kings 
of the various nations, when they were 
not themselves satraps of their country, 
rendered obedience to governors of the 
Persian race appointed by the Court- 
But in most cases the local rulers reigned 
in actual fact over their people. The King of Kings demanded loyalty 
to his cause, a more or less heavy tribute, and contingents of troops as- 
sessed by himself. This system was applied by the vassals and by the 
heads of districts and even of villages. 

My statements are supported by an abundance of proofs; one of these 
proofs is of particular interest because it deals with the government of 
Armenia under the Achaemenids. 

Herodotus who had visited only the great Powers, and who en- 
deavored especially to explain the causes and effects of the wars of the 
Medes, was necessarily very terse as regards the peoples subject to the 
Great King. But Xenophon (1), whose journey had quite another pur- 
pose, was much more copious than the Father of History in his remarks on 
the peoples through whose territory he crossed with his soldiers, and he has 
left us very detailed information about Armenia. His narrative is of the 
utmost value for our knowledge of the Armenians about 400 B.C. 

He says: "When the army had all crossed the river Centrites (2) 
"about noon, and had ranged themselves in order, they proceeded for 
'•another five leagues over large plains and gently sloping hills; for there 
"were no villages near the river, because of the proximity of the hostile 
"Carducii (Kurds) (3). The village, however, at which they stopped 
"was of considerable size, and contained a palace for the satrap; upon 
"most of the houses there were towers, and provisions were in great 
"plenty. Thence they proceeded, two days' journey, a distance of ten 
"leagues, until they passed round the sources of the river Tigris. (4). 

(1) Anabasis, book IV, ch. 2 & 3. 

(2) The Bohtan-tchai. 

(3) In the Armenian Taurus (Djoudi-dagh). 

(4) Rather the Bitlis-tchai. 

— 75 

"Thence they advanced three days' journey, fifteen leagues, to the 
"small river Teleboas (5), a stream of much beauty and with many vil- 
"lages on its banks. Here begins Western Armenia, the deputy-governor 
«of which was Tiribazus, an intimate friend of the king of Persia, who held 
"the king's stirrup when he mounted his horse. He rode up to the army 
"with a few horsemen and asked through an interpreter to speak with the 
"commanders ... He offered to let the army pass and to allow the soldiers 
"to take such provisions as they required, provided no damage should 
"be done as they passed through, which was granted. Thence they 
"proceeded, three days' march, fifteen leagues through a large plain. 
"Tiribazus followed them with his troops, keeping at a distance of about 
"ten stadia, till they arrived at palace buildings, with several villages 
"around stored with abundance of provision. While they were encamped, 
"there fell in the night a great quantity of snow and in the morning it 
"was thought advisable to take up quarters in the neighboring villages . . . 
"Here they found all kinds of provisions in abundance, cattle, corn, dried 
"grapes, vegetables of all sorts, and fragrant old wines. . . . (The Greeks) 
"lighted fires and anointed themselves with oils of sesamum, turpentine, 
"and bitter almonds, of which there was plenty around, with hog's lard, 
"and ointments made of all kinds of drugs . . . They despatched in the night 
"Democrates of Temenos with a detachment of men to the hills where 
"fires had been seen ... He brought back a prisoner who had a Persian 
"bow and quiver, and a short battle-ax such as the Amazons have . . . 
"(It was learned that Tiribazus) with his own troops of the province and 
"some mercenaries from the Chalybes and Taochians was prepared to 
"attack the Greeks at the foot of the mountains ... It was therefore re- 
"solved to seize the passes . . The enemy were put to rout, some were 
"killed, and twenty horses were taken as was also the tent of Tiribazus; 
"in the latter were couches with silver feet and drinking-cups .... Thence 
"they proceeded three days' journey through a desert tract of country, to 
"the river Euphrates (1) which they passed not far from its source . . . 
"They advanced in snow five or six feet deep; many of the baggage slaves 
"and beasts of burden perished in It along with thirty soldiers." 

The army suffered severely from the cold on these high plateaus and 
lost many men; so they spread out into the villages. The Athenian 
Polycrates with his followers found in the village allotted to him "the 

(5) Probably the Qara*6oa, a river of Monch, tributary of the eastern Euphrates. 
(1) The Arsanias. 

— 76 — 

"head-man with all the villagers, together with seventeen colts that were 
"being bred as a tribute for the king. The head-man's daughter, who had 
"been married but nine days, was there, but her husband had gone out to 
"hunt hares. Their houses were underground, the entrance like the mouth 
"of a well; the people descended by ladders, but there were other passages 
"dug into them for the cattle. In the houses were sheep, cows, goats, and 
"fowls, also wheat, barley, vegetables, and beer to drink, which last was 
"very strong, unless one mixed water with it, and apparently pleasant 
"to those accustomed to it. It was drunk with a reed from the vessels; many 
"reeds of different kinds, with no knots, lay in the beer, whereon also floated 
"the barley. Xenophon made the chief man of the village sup with him 
"and told him to have no fear, that they would cause him no vexation if 
"he would but lead the army safely to the border. This the chief promised 
"and to regale Xenophon showed him where the wine was hidden. The 
"soldiers spent the night in the midst of great abundance, setting a guard 
"over the chief and keeping his children under their eye. The following 
"day Xenophon took the head-man and went with him to Cheirisophus, 
"and wherever he passed he found the soldiers feasting. The latter made 
"him dismount and sit down to eat with them, serving him veal, lamb, 
"pork, together with fowl and bread of wheat and barley. To drink to 
"anyone's health, however, it was necessary to go to the cask and drink 
"stooping down, like an animal at the trough . . . When they came to 
"Cheirisophus, they found them all feasting, with wreaths on their 
"heads made of dried grass in lieu of flowers, and being served by boys 
"in their native costumes to whom they had to make signs for every- 
"thing as to mutes .... (The chief man when questioned) said they were 
"in Armenia, and that the neighboring country was that of the Chalybes, 
"and told them in what direction the road lay." 

After ten days' march, the Greeks reached the banks of the Phasis 
(Araxes) (1), and entered the land of the Taochil (Kars), crossed the 
valley of the Harpasos (Jorokh), the country of the Saspires, and the 
mountains of the Chalybes (Lazistan), finally arriving at Trebizond. 

Xenophon states that Tiribazus, on instructions from his king, 
Tigranes, and following orders he had received from Susa, had intended 

(1) Xenophon is mistaken in speaking of the Phasis, a river of Mingrelia. 

— 77 — 

attacking the Ten Thousand on their way through the Armenian territory; 
whereas his own account shows that actually the Greeks seized Tiribazus' 
camp without any provocation on the latter's part and merely because 
of the statement of one prisoner. This attack seems all the less justifiable 
when one considers that the Armenian governor had taken no precautions 
to protect his tent; the hospitality that Xenophon's soldiers subsequently 
received in Armenia and which they seem to have abused, shows that the 
inhabitants were well disposed towards them, and not hostile. 

Armenia thus was enjoying very considerable 

ALEXANDRIAN freedom under the Achaemenids when there came 

CONQUEST the defeat of Darius Codomannus, first at Issus and 

then at Arbela. The conquests of Alexander the 

Great caused indeed the greatest revolution that ever changed the face 

of the Asiatic world. The beneficent civilization of the Hellenes spread 

as far as India, ex- 
tinguishing for centur- 
ies the obsolete princi- 
ples of the old Eastern 
empires, bringing to 
the various peoples 
nobler conceptions re- 
garding everything. 
It was the triumph 
of civilization over 
barbarism, and this 
ascendancy of the 
Hellenic spirit prevailed in Asia for six hundred years, until the accession 
of the Sassanids to the Persian throne brought about a return to the old 
Iranian culture. 

The defeat of the Achaemenean monarchy by the Macedonian king 
had, as regards Armenia, the only political result of exchanging Persian 
for Greek authority, but finding in this new status greater civil and relig- 
ious freedom, the Armenians forsook Mazdeism that they had accepted 
only under compulsion and returned to the gods of their forefathers. 
They adopted progress with enthusiasm and under their Greek rulers' 
influence made great strides. 


— 78 

220-215 ? 

We have extremely little light concerning the 

ALEXANDER'S events that took place in this part of Western 

SUCCESSORS Asia from the time of Alexander's death until the 

period of Mithidrates the Great, king of Pontus. 

We know, however, through Armenian chronologists (1), that in the year 

324 B.C. the Greeks had sent into Armenia a governor named Phraata- 

phernes or Neoptolemaeus; that in 322 the latter was replaced by Orontes 

(Hrant or Ervand) who ruled from 322 to 301; that in 

ERVAND I 301 (?) the country was governed by Ardoates or 

322-301 B.C. Artavazt; and that after a series of rulers whose names 

are unknown, with the exception of Arsames who struck 

coins (2) in the year 82 of the Seleucidan era (230 B.C.), Artabazanes 

or Artavaz (239-220 ?) ruled over Armenia and was succeeded by Orontes 

II (.?) (220-215 ?). 

This Orontes (Ervand) just mentioned is credited 
by Armenian tradition with having founded the city of 
Erivan. With their southern border constantly 
threatened first by the Persians and then by the Greeks, 

and finding their northern 
enemies far less formidable 
than those on the south, 
the Armenians entrenched 
themselves more and more 
strongly in the districts 
north of the Araxes. Ani, 
already fortified, contained 
holy places venerated by 
the people, and Erivan was 
founded in the plain com- 
manding on one side the chief passages of the Araxes and on the other the 
gorges communicating from the Araxes valley to that of the river Cyrus. 
Moses of Khoren has left us a curious description of the new city 
of Erivan: 

"I love to speak of the splendid city of Yervandakert built by king 
"Ervand, who laid it out delightfully. In its center he built magnificent 


(1) K. J. BASMADJIAN, op. laud. 

(2) E. BABELON, Numis. des rois de Syrie, d'Armenie, et de Commagene, 
Paris, 1890. 

79 — 

"edifices radiating as from the pupil of the eye; around the dwellings are 
'^gardens and pastures encircling like the eye's orbit; numerous vineyards 
"are like a rich and gracious fringe of eye-lashes; the ground to the north 
"in a handsome arch is indeed comparable to the lofty eye-brows of lovely 
"damsels; on the south the smooth surface of the meadows remind one 
"of attractive tender cheeks: the river opens as a mouth between the 
"two banks that are its lips. And this lovely scenery seems to look up- 
"ward to the eminence whereon stands the monarch's palace. (1)" 

The Armenians long considered the succession of princes just 
mentioned to be the first period of their kingdom, but this was a grievous 
mistake for it robbed them of their oldest claim to royalty. Before the 
Achaemenean period, during the reign of Cyrus, Armenia is known to have 
been governed by its own kings. We do not know the names of the 
sovereigns of Armenia during the two centuries following Haik's conquest, 
any more than we do those of the tributary kings under the Achaemenlds; 
only the record of one Tigranes, the contemporary of Xenophon, has been 
preserved; but we do know nevertheless that these dynasties existed. 
Therefore, to pass them over unmentioned would be stripping Armenian 
history of its opening pages. (2). 

In any case, after the dynasty that was contemporary with the first 
Seleucids in Syria, the native chronologers place a period of Greek 
domination lasting from 215 (?) to 190 B.C., to the defeat of Antiochus 
the Great by the Romans at Magnesia. Armenia then became free, and 
split into two kingdoms, Greater Armenia, on the east of the Euphrates, and 
Lesser Armenia bounded on the east by that same river. 

(1) MOSES OF KHOREN, II, 42, transl. A. TCHOBANIAN, Le Peuple ar- 
menian. son passe, sa culture, son avenir, p. 37, Paris, 1913. 

(2) Moses of Khoren, and the Armenian historians who drew from his writings, 
give a list of 36 names of the Haikian patriarchs and make this succession last 1480 
years, thus allowing about 41 years to each reign. This estimate of duration is in- 
admissible. Moreover, from 870 to 330 B.C., seventeen are supposed to have reigned, 
which would give 31 years apiece, which figure we cannot accept either. But if we 
take the only certain date in this legendary chronology, viz. 330 B.C., and reduce to 
a probable ratio the different reigns, we see that the list of kings corresponds to the 
time of the Achaemenean monarchy, and that the series of patriarchs can very well 
be included in the two or three centuries taken up by the nation's advance from 
Cappadocia to the Ararat country and by their occupation of the new homeland. 
In this case, the successions listed by Armenian traditions would correspond to 
actuality, the only mistake being the chronological estimates. These estimates are, 
moreover, of comparatively late compilation, they date from the time that Christian 
authors endeavored to make Armenian history tally with the Biblical record. 

— 80 — 

At. this same period, about 180 B.C. a prince of the name of Sames, 
probably driven from Armenia by the Parthian invasion and believed to 
have been the son of Antiochis, a concubine of Antiochus IV, who married 
the Armenian king Xerxes, (1) declared himself independent at Samosata, 
on the Euphrates, and founded the kingdom of Commagene, the destiny 


of which was so closely linked to that of Armenia Minor. The empire of 
the Seleucids was at that time disintegrating into a multitude of small 

The first king of Greater Armenia was Artaxias 
ARTAXIAS or Artashes I, a former general of Antiochus III. This 
CA. 160 B.C. king founded the city of Artaxata on the Araxes, at the 
foot of Qara-bagh, and made it his capital. The shape- 
less ruins of this city are still to be seen near the village of Khorvirah, 
about nineteen miles to the south of Erivan. 

During the early days of the reign of Artaxias, Armenia enjoyed 
independence; but about 165 or 159 B.C. it was attacked by Antiochus IV 

Epiphanes, and fell once more under Sel- 
eucidan control. In this fight for the inde- 
pendence of his kingdom Artaxias was de- 
feated by Antiochus Epiphanes and lost his 
life. We do not know how long the new peri- 
od lasted, but Justin informs us that at the 
beginning of the first century B.C. a king 
of Armenia named Ortoadistes was fighting 
against the king of Pontus. This Armenian 


(1) Cf. E. BABELON, Les Rois de Syrie, d'Armenie et de Commagene, 1890, 
p. CCVIII sq. 

— 81 — 

ruler would appear to be the predecessor of one of the greatest among the 
sovereigns of Armenia, viz. Tigranes II, who gained such brilliant dis- 
tinction by his alliances with Mithidrates and his wars with the Romans. 
We know through Strabo that the reign of Artaxias was an era of con- 
quests for Armenia. This king, by forming a powerful monarchy upheld 
by Roman statecraft, became a menace to the kings of Syria, and we may 
be certain that Antiochus Epiphanes only attacked him to be rid of a 
dangerous neighbor. With the Parthians pressing them on the east, and 
Roman power ever on the increase, the Scleucids for the safety of their 
dominions had to stifle this kingdom in its early stages as it was growing 
daily stron£er and becoming a greater challenge. 

Whilst Artaxias was reconstructing the kingdom of 

ZARIADRAS Greater Armenia, Zariadras, likewise a former general 

of Antiochus the Great, was founding Lesser Armenia, 

a State which continued to be ruled by his descendants until the time of 


The names of these two rulers, Artaxias (in Armenian Artashes) and 
Zariadras (Zareh) are Persian, and we cannot therefore know whether 
they were Armenians or Iranians. On the one hand, the Achaemeneans 
had spread their princes around over all the provinces of their vast em- 
pire, as viceroys, and these satraps fretting under the Greek overlordship, 
were inclined to assert their freedom; on the other hand, the Armenians 
had often adopted Iranian names through the Persian Influence; con- 
sequently the nationality of these two kings remains uncertain. In any 
case, they relied on the Armenian element to shake off the yoke of the 
Seleucids. According to Cicero, Antiochus after his defeat was ordered 
by the conqueror to make the Taurus the boundary of his dominions, and 
this stipulation was a great help In furthering the independence of the 
princes governing In his name In both Armenlas. 

These kingdoms were then the only really civilized countries of the 
Transcaucasian region. Their inhabitants were intelligent and industrious, 
wide-awake, and thoroughly permeated with Hellenic influence. They 
had adopted the Greek language for their writings, and since the Mace- 
donian conquest had become quite familiar with the use of money. The 
gold darlcs and the silver shekels of the Achaemenlds and the coins 

(1) "We have no Armenian coins of the Achaemenian period, whereas daring 
that same period, in Phoenicia and Cappadocia, the satraps of the Great King etmck 
silver money with their own names inscribed in Aramaean characters. 

— 82 — 

minted by the satraps (1), which had had little currency in the northern 
countries, were succeeded by Macedonian money, and that of the Seleu- 
cids, also by the coins struck by the Greek colonies on the Black Sea. The 
drachmas of the Parthians, just then appearing, were to be for several 
centuries the main medium of trade. 



Moses of Khoren states that Artaxias struck 
money bearing his effigy, which is extremely probable. 
But no coin of this ruler has been preserved. More- 
over, the sequence of Armenian coins discovered to 

date is very incomplete, and the interpretation of the inscriptions they bear 

is often dubious. According to col- 
lections available, these numismatic 
records start with the second half of 
the first century of the Seleucidan era, 
and the only rulers whose coins we 
have are: Charaspes, period unknown, 
Arsames (ca. 230 B.C.) (1) Abdis- 
sares (ca. 200 B.C.) and Xerxes (ca. 
170 B.C.) (2), none of which names 

appear in the Armenian lists; then Tigranes II, Artavazd II, Tigranes 

III, Tigranes IV, Tigranes V. and his sister Erato. Finally we have the 

head of Artaxias, the son of Polemon, which is found on the back of 

some of the coins struck by Germanicus (3). 
In the absence of Armenian objects 

of art or craftsmanship, and of structural 

remains contemporaneous with the Greek /^Tc^'^r^^^^^ MMW)^P/'!^^ 

period, (4) the study of the types and in- 
scriptions of what coins we have assures 

us that Armenia soon became one of the 

centers of Hellenism In the East. In vain 

had the Persians tried to assimilate the 

Armenians, and to impose on them their oriental customs and beliefs; 


(1) POLYAENUS, IV, 17, mentions an Armenian prince who showed himself 
a friend of Antiochus Hierax (who died 227 B.C.) . 

(2) POLYBIUS, Excerpta, VIII, 25. This ruler was contemporary with Antio- 
chus IV, Epiphanes (175-164 B.C.). 

(3) Cf. E. BABELON, op. laud. 

(4) A very fine female head discovered at Satala in Armenia has been ascribed 
to a statae of the goddess Anahit, but we have no supporting proof. 


Iranian culture did not meet the aspirations of this people, whereas Greek 
civilization in line with the traditions of the Aryans of Europe found in 
Armenia a favorable soil for development. 

Such is the history of the beginnings of the Ar- 
menian nation. These annals, hitherto little known, 
are such as to inspire with pride this people who, hold- 
ing an outpost of Indo-European civilization amidst 
Asiatic powers, never failed to uphold firmly the 
Aryan standard. In heathen times the Armenians 
maintained for centuries Greek culture, and as Christ- 
ians they became the great champions of our faith and 
western civilization; consequently their role in history 
has always been a famous one, ever since the con- 
quest of Asia by the Macedonians. But before Al- 
exander the Great even, when the Hellenic peoples 
were themselves struggling individually, Armenia was 
a powerful State with which the mighty sovereigns 

of Asia had to reckon. This is the part of Armenian history that 

is least known, although it Is the most 

interesting, for the whole life of the Ar- 
menian people, up to our times, Is but the 

consequence of those early pages, and the 

reason that the Armenians for twenty 

centuries have shown such energy, such 

valor, and such attachment to their 

national spirit, is that "noblesse oblige." (1) 



(1) The leading facts contained in this chapter were pnblished in le Mercure de 
France, (Sept..Oct., 1916) vol. CXVII. 


(From a tetradrachma in the British Museum) 


Reign of Tigranes II, the Great. — Lucullus and Pompey in Ar- 
menia.— The Country Divided by the Romans.— The Last Kings of 
the Dynasty of Artaxias 

Until the beginning of the first century B.C., the Armenians had 
encountered on the battle-field only Asiatic peoples, who, though ad- 
mittedly powerful, were lacking in the organization and discipline that 
are an army's chief strength. Themselves accustomed to Eastern prin- 
ciples which neither the Greek influence nor the conquest by Alexander 
had succeeded in uprooting, and governed according to the feudal system 
like the Persians, they raised troops through the medium of noblemen who 
remained at the head of their contingents, and whose obedience to the 
royal power was not always what it should have been for the nation's 
welfare. But among the Parthians, the rulers of Pontus, all the petty 
kings of Asia Minor, and even among the Seleuclds themselves, adminis- 
trative and military inexperience was the same as in Armenia. , Conse- 

— 85 — 

quently the Armenian people were able to hold their own, often very 
successfully, against any of their neighbors seeking to encroach on them. 

From the time of Tigranes the Great, however, the opposing elements 
took on new aspects due to the appearance of the Roman legions. Pitted 
against equal numbers, the Asiatics' resistance became mythical. The 
great Republic, relying on its generals and diplomats and on its military 
strength, used the latter, alternately with its political shrewdness, to get 
possession of the natural stronghold of Armenia commanding Western 
Asia and constituting a bridgehead against Media, Syria, and Pontus. As 
soon as opportunity occurred, therefore, the Roman generals lost no time 
in taking the very opposite course from that pursued formerly by the 
Achaemenids, even still by the Parthians, and resumed later by Sas- 
sanids, Arabs, and Turks. The possession of Armenia was to be fought 
over for centuries, and the Armenians were to be subjected to all kinds of 
influences which often were disastrous when they became divided in 
purpose. Some of their feudal nobility favored the Persians, others the 
Romans, and many of them too often, alas! forgot the paramount in- 
terests of their king and nation. 

CA. 112B.C. 

During the reign of Artavazd II (1), about 112 
B.C., his neighbor, Mithidrates V. the Great, king 
of Pontus, extended by conquest the borders of his 
dominions. Recognizing all the danger his kingdom 

would incur one day from the 
proximity of the newly ac- 
quired possessions of Rome, 
this ruler conceived the idea 
of founding a vast empire 
that could hold its own 
against the Roman generals. 
The blood of the Achaemenids 
flowing in his veins inspired 
him with the thought of re- 
covering for Asia Minor its 
erstwhile splendor and power, 
but his idea was a Hellenized 



(Numismatic Collection, Paris. 

Drawn by M. J. Emonts) 

(1) or Artoadistus (123-94 B.C.). 

— 86 — 

Asia, combining not only the old traditions of the East but also the Greek 
culture now threatened with ruin by the West. With profound political 
foresight, he saw the schism that would eventuate later between Rome 
and Byzantium, between the West and the East. Within seven years, 
Mithidrates had added to his dominions Colchis (2), the Black. Sea 
coast (3), the Tauric Chersonese (4), and a part of Armenia (5). When, 
however, he sought to expand to the east of the Euphrates, he was 
stopped in that direction by the valor of the Armenians, and the peoples 
of the Caucasus leagued together to preserve their homelands. To the 
east, Mithidrates' kingdom never went beyond the pass of Souram (1): 
and the inhabitants of the valleys of the Cyrus and Araxes, and those of 
the plateau of Erzerum, preserved their independence. These countries 
were split up into a large number of petty kingdoms, principalities, and 
minor domains, whose warlike lords brooked no authority but their own 
good pleasure. In Transcaucasia and in the mountains, there were 
gathered a number of still very uncivilized tribes who were ever at war 
with their neighbors including the Armenians, and only the power of 
Rome was able to subdue them eventually, even nominally. 

Such was the situation politically in the north 
TIGRANES II of western Asia, when Tigranes II, called the Great 
THE GREAT, 94- (94-54 B.C.) (2) ascended the throne of Ar- 
54 B.C. menia. With him began the most glorious mili- 

tary period in the country's history. 

Still a young man, Tigranes had once been a hostage in Persian 
hands, and it was the Parthian king Mithidrates II who caused him to 
be given the crown. The King of Kings, moreover, exacted in payment 
sixty-six valleys of Artavazd IPs dominions. 

(2) The basin of the river Phasis. 

(3) Afkhasia, Lazislan, Trebizond, as far as Amisus. 

(4) The Crimea. 

(5) Lesser Armenia, on the west of the Euphrates. 

(1) Between the valleys of the Phasis and the Cyrua. 

(2) E. Babelon, Les Rois de Syrie, (FArmenie et de Commagene, p. 213 (nninis- 
matics), calls this prince, Tigranes I and states that he reigned from 215 to 2S6 of 
the Seleucidan era (97-56 B.C.). 

— 87 — 



The definite history of Armenia may be said to 
begin with the new king, for the statements of native 
Christian writers, often so questionable unfortunately, 
can henceforth be verified by the many writings left 
us by Greek and Latin authors. As for the annals of 
heathen Armenia, which no doubt once existed either 
in Greek or in Pehlevi, they have not been preserved 
to us. 

The king of Pontus, Mithidrates, realizing that 
he would never be able to subdue the Armenians and 
that Tigranes would be a very dangerous neighbor in 
his way, unless he could have him as an ally, did all 
he could to draw Tigranes into his war against Rome. 
Tigranes, to whom the Pontine kingdom relinquished 
the whole of the south of Asia Minor, thought this al- 
liance would assure to his dominions a status enabling him to treat as an 
equal both with the Romans and the Persian Arsacids. He therefore 
decided to espouse the aims and share the dangers of Mithidrates. 

The young king, who already owned vast territories, began by con- 
quering Sophene, then turning his army against the Parthians, he re- 
covered from Persia the districts he had been obliged to give up on his 
accession. Finally, taking advantage of a palace revolution at Ctesiphon 
and of the assassination of Mithidrates II by Orodes I, Tigranes — who 
had had time to establish his power and whose ambition was unlimited — 
remembering the humiliations he had known at the Parthian court, ar- 
rogated to himself the title of King of Kings (1). This title had been 
borne by the sovereigns of Iran 
from the time of the Achaeme- 
nids. Tigranes thus followed the 
example set by the Seleucids, and 
showed that he was contemplat- 
ing great conquests. He had al- 
lied himself by marriage with the 
family of the shrewd king of 
Pontus, the sworn enemy of the 
Romans. Consequently he did 
not hesitate to attack the rulers under the protection of Rome, and about 


(1) Basileas Basileon, Vide coins of Mithidrates II & Orodes I. 





91 B.C. he invaded Cappadocia which he considered, probably from tra- 
dition, as belonging to the Armenian patrimony. Driving out Ariobar- 

zanus, whom Sulla had just placed on the 
throne of this region, he put in his stead 
Ariarathes, possibly the son of his ally Mith- 
idrates. The king of Pontus undoubtedly 
joined in this expedition, for Cappadocia 
had hardly been conquered before Aria- 
rathes set out to attack the legions then in 
Attica. The young prince died, however, 
on the way, and Mithidrates vanquished by Sulla was compelled by the 
treaty of Dardanus to relinquish his claims to Asia Minor and Cappadocia. 
The former king of the latter province, Ariobar- 
zanus, returned to his throne. 

Tigranes, however, taking warning from the 
repulses suffered by his ally, deemed it wiser not 
to pursue his aims on lands protected by Rome 
and turned to his other frontiers. Within a few years he had subdued 
Gordyene (2), Median Atropatenes (3), Adiabenes (4), the region of 
Nisibis (5), and finally the kingdom of Edessa, or Osrhoene, over which 
he appointed an Arab family, of which Abgar and Manou were later mem- 
bers. His ambitions, however, were not yet satisfied, for then, throwing 
caution to the winds as regards the Romans, he again took arms against 
the West. After subduing Sophene for the second time, he ravaged Cap- 
padocia where he captured very many slaves and rich booty and marched 
on Cilicia and Syria. 

During these campaigns Tigranes had encountered no opposition 
from the Romans. It seemed to him that their generals were afraid to 
come to blows with a monarch whose dominions had grown to such an 
extent in a few years. On his way to Antioch, the king of Armenia stopped 
awhile in his province of the Tigris to draw up the plans and supervise the 
building of the great city of Tigranocerta which he had decided to found 
south of the river. The prisoners taken in Cappadocia, Cilicia, and Syria, 
were engaged in this work when suddenly, after the king had left for 
Antioch, Lucullus appeared at the head of the Roman legions. 

(2) Northern Kurdistan. 

(3) Azerbaidjan. 

(4) Mosul. 

(5) Nisibin (Antioch of Mygdonia). 

— 89 

This was the first time that the Armenians had come face to face 
with the Roman army, for hitherto the Senate had spared the king of 
Armenia. As a matter of fact, although the ambitions of the king of 
Pontus ran counter to Rome's political aims in Asia, it was not so, at 
least for the time being, as regards Armenia. This kingdom, standing 
between the Parthian dominions and those of the Republic, and being 
itself hostile to the Persians, was of considerable service by its very exis- 
tence, and the Armenians besides were the only intermediaries for the 
trade of the Mediterranean with Central Asia now that relations were 
broken between Rome and Ctesiphon. However, Tigranes' expeditions 
into Cappadocia, Cilicia, and Syria, all under the Senate's protection, had 
aroused in Italy both annoyance and anxiety. It was known that although 
he had not taken part in the last aggression of Mithidrates V, Tigranes 
was nevertheless the ally of his father-in-law and brother-in-law, the king 
of Pontus. An actual coalition of the two kings might become very 
dangerous, should as was probable these two powerful States join up 
with the Arsacids of Persia to drive out the legions from Asia. A firm 
hand was therefore necessary in dealing with the Armenians, whose king 
must be made to understand that he had to respect the territories under 
Roman protection and keep to his own frontiers of the Tigris and the 
Armenian Taurus. 

The Senate hesitated to undertake a war against a ruler who seemed 
to them like another Mithidrates, and were wondering whether the results 
of any such campaign would be commensurate with the risks to the Re- 
public and the enormous expense it would entail, when Antiochus and 
his brother, the heirs of the Seleucids who had been driven from Asia, 
appealed to the Conscript Fathers for the restitution of their dominions. 
Thereupon Lucullus, more farsighted than the Senators, lost no time in 
espousing the cause of Alexander's successors ousted from their heritage. 

His late success at Cabira, near the source of the river 
LUCULLUS Halys, over the king of Pontus urged him on, more- 
over, to proceed with his plans, and without awaiting 
orders from Italy he haughtily summoned Tigranes to deliver up to him 
Mithidrates. The latter upon the loss of his army had fled to the Ar- 
menian court, after first slaying at Pharnacia his two sisters and his wives 
to save them from slavery. 

Tigranes was at Antioch when Appius Clodius, sent to him by Lucullus, 
presented himself. Upon the king's refusal to hand over his guest and 

— 90 — 

relative, the Roman general hastened to the Euphrates at the head of 
twelve thousand veterans and three thousand horsemen, and crossing 
Sophene marched against the city of Tigranocerta. 

Thus threatened, the king of Armenia left Syria and repaired to the 
mountains separating the sources of the Euphrates from those of the 
Tigris, after having the messenger hanged en route who had brought him 
ihc news of LucuUus' advance. From the center of his dominions he 
was summoning to arms his many subjects and vassals when he learned 
that the Roman vanguard, after routing the troops of his lieutenant 
Mithrobarzanus, was besieging Tigranocerta. 

The city resisted bravely, and Mankeos in command of the garrison 
used all the means of defense at his disposal. The besiegers' engines 
of war were consumed in rivers of burning naphtha, and the Roman sol- 
diers riddled with arrows were compelled to keep far away from the 
walls, when Tigranes emerging from the mountains with twenty thousand 
men advanced to raise the blockade, expecting an easy mastery of LucuUus' 
small army. The Roman general, however, allowed his adversary no time; 
leaving five thousand men before the city, he went forward against Ti- 
granes with ten thousand only, and boldly crossed the river separating 
him from the enemy. 

Taxile, one of Mithidrates' lieutenants, who 
BATTLE OF ^^as with the Armenian army, wisely advised the 

TIGRANOCERTA king to avoid an all-out battle, to surround Lu- 
cuUus and harass him unceasingly, till he suc- 
cumbed from hunger. But Tigranes measuring his great number of men 
with the comparatively few of the enemy, disdained Taxile's advice, al- 
though the latter was counseling him out of experience of Roman prowess 
learned at personal cost. The king's heedlessness even went so far as to 
omit occupying two hillocks commanding the ground where his thousands 
of horsemen were massed. Noticing this omission, Lucullus despatched 
two cohorts to occupy these small eminences, and as soon as these werj 
secured he let loose "his cavalry and attacked that of the Armenians on 
their flank. Once the battle was on and Tigranes' horsemen were facing 
the Romans, the legionaries rushing down from the hills charged them 
in reverse. Attacked on both sides at once, the pick of the Armenian 
cavalry consisting of the king's body-guard was thrown back on the m- 
fantry. The latter had not had time to get Into battle array, and thus 
the whole army was thrown into disorder and giving ground took to flight 

— 91 — 

pursued by the victors. Tigranes owed his life only to his swift steed, 
and the Romans, carrying the day at the end of a short encounter, picked 
up his royal head-dress and diadem on the battle-field. 


At Tigranocerta, Mankeos tried to maintain the garrison's courage 
following this sudden overwhelming disaster, but the countless Greek 
prisoners within the walls opened its gates to the Romans. Lucullus 
found in the city's granaries 20 million medlmni of corn (1) and in the 
treasury 8,000 talents of gold (2), an enormous sum for the time, which 
enabled him to defray all the cost of the war and to pay each soldier a 
bonus of one hundred denarii (3). 

This battle liberated from Armenian rule all the middle valley of 
the Tigris and the provinces south of that river taken by Tigranes a short 
time before from the Parthlans and Syrians. Lucullus kept the territory 
.and went on to Invade Commagene, the throne of which country he gave 
to Prince Antiochus Theos. He then took the city of Samosata, passed 

(1) about 27^/4 million bushels. 

(2) 9 million dollars. 

(3) $22.60. 

— 92 — 

triumphantly through Syria, Phoenicia, 
Cilicia, Galatia, and Sophene, and re- 
established the kingdom of the Seleucids. 

This was a terrible blow for Ti- 
granes, but the king of Pontus soon re- 
stored his courage. While the battle of 
Tigranocerta was on, Mithidrates was al- COIN OF ANTIOCHUS THEOS, 
ready on the way to his ally's aid with KING OF COMMAGENE 

ten thousand Armenians. He arrived too 

late to prevent Lucullus' victory but he did come in time to save the 
Armenians from still greater defeat. Tigranes thenceforth was discredited 
with the Romans, and it was to the interest of the king of Pontus that 
the war should go on, for if the king of Armenia were to make terms with 
the victors, the cause of Pontus was irretrievably lost. Consequently Mith- 
idrates used all his influence and all his persuasive powers with his son- 
in-law and brother-in-law to induce him to continue fighting and to en- 
trust him (Mithidrates) with the generalship. He was then sixty years 
old and his age and experience with the enemy's tactics and strategy were 
a guaranty of the success of their allied arms. 

The two kings sent ambassadors to all the rulers of Asia asking them 
to arise against the common enemy, against the desecrator of their gods, 
for Lucullus had no scruples in letting his troops sack their most revered 
temples. Had he not just pillaged the famous holy place of Anahit? 

Most of the rulers responded to the appeal of Mithidrates and Ti- 
granes. The king of the Parthians, Phraat HI, however, declined all 
the proposals made to him, even though he was offered the recovery of 
Mesopotamia and Adiabene that had been taken from him. The Persian 
king then possibly had his hands full on his eastern borders, or perhaps 
he was not unwilling to see the downfall of Tigranes who had caused the 
Arsacids of Iran so many grievances. We have too little knowledge of 
Persia's annals to be able to discern the reasons for his refusal (1). 

A new army was speedily raised, and the two kings, recognizing that 
Asiatic troops were unable to remain in line against the legions, decided 
to use the tactics of the Parthians, i.e. to harass the enemy unceasingly 
without ever joining battle. The great amount of cavalry at the two 
allies' disposal, practically half their army, enabled them to give the enemy 

(1) All the historical records of Persia were destroyed by order of the caliphs 
when the country was invaded by the Arabs. 

— 93 — 


no respite. Nothing could be more fatal for Lucullus whose prestige was 
waning every day in Rome, and who was sure to be recalled at the slight- 
est failure. This general's pride and luxurious and aristocratic tastes, had 
raised him up many enemies in Italy, and those jealous of him accused him 

of premeditated slowness in wag- 
ing the war. It was claimed, and 
justifiably so, that the procon- 
sul was much more concerned 
with winning treasures than bat- 
tles. Moreover the Roman army, 
tired of ceaseless fighting, of iron 
discipline, and of long and weari- 
some marches, and sharing very 
little in the plunder with which 
their chief was enriching himself 
so shamefully, were murmuring and threatening to revolt. Lucullus must at 
all costs carry off a striking victory to raise his soldiers' morale and silence 
the dissatisfaction in Rome. 

After staying some time (68 B.C.) at Tigranocerta, Lucullus left 
there about midsummer and crossed the Sindjar mountains, the Tigris 
valley, and the Armenian Taurus, and passing by the eastern side 
of lake Van entered Greater Armenia and the Arsanias valley. After 
routing the Armenian cavalry, he crossed the latter river and was about 
to besiege Artaxata when he was caught by the severe winter which sets 
in so early on these high tablelands. His soldiers mutinied, and, in these 
lands so ill-known to the Romans both as regards the problem of sup- 
plies and the natural difficulties, Lucullus was afraid of endangering his 
army. He therefore withdrew into southern Armenia to winter at NIsibIs, 
which important town he took by assault under cover of a dark and 
stormy night. This withdrawal though caused by the inclement weather 
was nevertheless made much of by his enemies in Italy. 

Upon hearing that Lucullus had gone north, the 
LUCULLUS Armenians had returned to Tigranocerta. The city had 
RECALLED been left with only a small garrison under the general's 
lieutenant Fannius, and the latter unable to man the 
ramparts had evacuated it and taken refuge in a detached fort where 
Tigranes was besieging him. Lucullus, despite his promise to his soldiers 
to return them to Italy, left Nisibis to extricate his lieutenant, but that 

— 94 — 

IS as far as his offensive went. Bad news reached him both from northern 
Asia and from Italy. Mithidrates had just wiped out the army corps of 
Triarius at Ziela (Zillah) not far from the river Iris, and reconquered 
his kingdom of Pontus; whilst the Senate yielding to the clamors of the 
demagogues and financiers whose exorbitant dealings LucuUus had in- 
terfered with or diverted to his own profit, had recalled the commander 
of the campaign in the East together with his troops, and were sending 
in their place a fresh army under Pompey. Lucullus was at Talaura 
when the orders of the Conscript Fathers reached him. He continued on 
his way in a memorable retreat through very difficult country, whilst 
Mithidrates, delivered from all anxiety and assisted by a large army 
brought him by Tigranes, set about reestablishing himself. 

Lucullus came back from the East after a barren but none the less 
notable campaign, laden with enormous treasures as his only triumph. 
Pompey on the other hand, more fortunate, found on his arrival in Asia 
his enemies divided. Tigranes, who was of a naturally cruel disposition, 
embittered by his ill-fortune, had slain two of his own sons, and Tigranes 
the Younger, the grandson of the king of Pontus by his mother Cleo- 
patra, incited either by fear or ambition, joined the new Roman general 
and took up arms against his father. Finally by a clever stroke of diplo- 
macy the Parthian king of Iran, Phraat III, allied himself with Rome 
and for his help was promised his old provinces of Mesopotamia extended 
to the Euphrates. The contingents of the King of Kings raised Pompey's 
army to fifty thousand men, whereas Mithidrates had only thirty thousand 
infantry and three thousand horsemen. 

The first encounter of the two opponents took 

•CN. POMPEIUS place on the left bank of the river Lycus (lechil- 

Irmak), near the future site of the city of Nicopolis, 

and the Roman success due to a surprise attack was disastrous for the 


Pompey had occupied the heights overlooking the mountain passes 
through which the Pontine army had to come, and Mithidrates ill-informed 
by his scouts had unsuspectingly halted by the gorge to rest in the heat 
of the day. The legionaries seized the opportunity to fall suddenly on 
their enemy's broken ranks and carry out a frightful massacre. The king 
fled with a handful of officers and one of his wives who had fought by 
his side, and reached the Euphrates, where he was rejoined by the rem- 
nants of his army. Thence he proceeded to Armenia hoping to find 

— 95 — 

shelter and assistance from his son-in-law. Tigranes, however, had been 
obliged himself to flee into the mountains to escape from his son and the 
Parthian king Phraat III then besieging Artaxata, and consequently could 
give his ally no help. Shortly afterwards, however, Tigranes learned of 
the withdrawal of the Persian king and drove out the body of enemy 
troops left in his capital, putting to flight his own son's contingents. 

Despite these minor successes, the king of Armenia felt the weight of 
Rome's power, and seeing himself doomed unless he could free his throne 
from the wrath of the Senate, sent peace terms to Pompey. He promised 
tc forsake Mithidrates and even offered one hundred talents (1) reward 
to whomsoever should deliver up his former ally. He arrested his father- 
in-law's envoys and delivered them to the victorious general who, halting 
his pursuit of Mithidrates fleeing towards the Phasis, Afkhasia, and Cri- 
mea, crossed the Araxes and pitched his camp within sight of Artaxata. 
Pompey certainly was not refusing to negotiate with Tigranes, but he 
meant to impose his own terms on Armenia in order to keep it in obe- 
dience to Rome and to make the country a rampart for the legions against 
the Parthians with whom Rome's alliance, running counter to the Senate's 
general Eastern policy, could not last long. 

Recognizing all resistance as useless and fearing the intrigues of his 
son, Tigranes accepted the hard terms of the conqueror. The old king, 
discarding his purple mantle and wearing only his head-band and royal 
diadem, rode to the Roman camp and, handing the victors his steed and 
his sword, was led before the proconsul to whom he delivered his tiara 
and diadem and did obeisance. 

Satisfied with this complete submission, Pompey raised the king 
kindly, returned him his royal insignia, and treated him as a monarch. 
The terms Tigranes had to accept, however, were very hard. He sur- 
rendered to the Romans Syria and Phoenicia, Cillcia and Cappadocia, 
Sophene and Gordyene, abandoned all future claims to those provinces, 
and was to pay the victors an indemnity of six thousand talents (2). 

With Armenia thus vanquished and reduced as it were to a Roman 
protectorate, and Mithidrates in flight and stripped of his dominions, 
Pompey had no further reasons for any alliance with the Parthians. On 
flimsy pretexts, he proceeded against Phraat and seized Gordyene and 

(1) $108,000. 

(2) About $6,500,000. 

— 96 

northern Mesopotamia, which he gave to Tigranes in order to prevent 
any reconciliation of the Armenians and the Persians. On the north, 
the Iberians and the Albanians having attacked the Romans during the 
winter of 66-65 B.C. the proconsul threw the Albanians back to the north 
bank of the Cyrus and drove into the mountains the Iberian king, 
Artoces. Finally he carved out for Deiotarus, a former tetrarch of the 
Galatian tribe of the Tolostobogii, a new kingdom of Armenia Minor, 
comprising Pontic Armenia as far as the borders of Colchis and the ter- 
ritory of Tigranes, the eastern half of the kingdom of Pontus with the 
cities of Pharnacia and Trapezus (Trebizond). The former possessions 
of Deiotarus were included in this new State, namely, Galatia and the 
provinces between Amisus and the mouths of the river Halys. 

Pompey's expedition left Asia consequently in a very favorable 
situation politically for Rome. On the north, Armenia Major and Armenia 
Minor, both protectorates of the Republic, were a standing threat to the 
Arsacids of Iran, and enabled the legions to take the offensive against 
the Persians as soon as circumstances were favorable. It would have 
been premature to exact harder terms and make Roman provinces of 
these countries, for the Senate's policy had a much longer range and fore- 
saw the day when, with the conquest of the Parthians, Rome's power 
should extend over the whole of both the Tigris and Euphrates basins, 
over the lands to the north of the Araxes, and over the Persian Arabistan 
or Khouzistan of our times. These ambitions included not only an im- 
mense expansion of Rome's Asiatic provinces, but also and above all, 
possession of the silk caravan routes through Syria and the Persian Gulf. 
Two thousand years after these events, a large empire also dreamed of 
world dominion and to satisfy that same ambition let loose the most 
frightful war, aimed at seizing this great Eastern highway. 

On his departure from Asia, Pompey left Armenia not only conquered 
but humiliated. Tigranes the Younger, in chains, was sent to Rome for 
the victor's triumph. As for the Arsacids of Persia, they were just as 
much wounded in pride; driven from Gordyene, and stripped of that prov- 
ince and of northern Mesopotamia in favor of the old king Tigranes, they 
could dream only of a resumption of arms to get back their lost territory. 

By crushing Mithidrates and Tigranes, the Romans had put an end 
to Macedonian civilization in Asia, for nothing remained of all the States 

— 97 — 

born of Alexander's conquests but mere ruins, petty kings quite unable 
of sustaining the Hellenic name. The two great kings of Pontus and Ar- 
menia were the last who could ever have revived in their lands the splen- 
did civilization of Greece. 

Among the finest treasures 
of Greek numismatics in Asia 
we must give first place to the 
splendid tetradrachmas of Mith- 
idrates and Tigranes, two rulers 
of cultured tastes whose active 
reigns earned them the title of 
"Great," No coin of the Syrian 
Seleucids, nor of the Egyptian 
Ptolemies, can be compared with 
the superb portraits of the kings 
of Pontus and Armenia. The 
misfortune that befell these two thrones arose from both monarchs daring 
to stand up to the power of Rome. Had Tigranes and Mithldrates lived 
in other times, they would have founded great empires, for their political 
ideas were vast in scope. They both do honor to Greek culture not only 
in the courage they showed in giving battle to the greatest generals of 
ancient times, but also in their breadth of view and perspicacity. 



(on reverse, the Fortuna of Antioch) 

Like Alexander, Tigranes founded cities. At his command Tigrano- 
certa rose as in a dream in the south of his kingdom, while in the new 
capital of Armenia Athenian actors arrived as soon as the theatre was 
built to play the masterpieces of Greek literature. Greek sculptors were 
summoned to adorn the city, and just as Mithidrates gathered art treasures 
at Panticapaeum, (in the Crimea), so did Tigranes cause to be brought 
to him in his dominions the divinities of ancient Greece. At the royal 
court all the dignitaries of the kingdom, like all the princes there present, 
spoke and wrote In the language of Demosthenes, and Artavazd, the king's 
own son, composed Greek tragedies and discourses of which we still read 
Plutarch's praises. Thus Tigranes, engrossed as he was with war and 
vast political schemes, devoted nevertheless his few leisure hours to cul- 
tural pleasures. Both at the Pontine court and the Armenian court there 
■was as much mental refinement as at Rome, at Athens, or at Alexandria, 
the court of the sumptuous Cleopatra. 

— 98 — 

Fortune was not kind to Tigranes; vanquished 
by an enemy before whom all the world's rulers BRONZE COIN OF 
had to bow, he had to humble himself, and his- 
torians have not always been just to this monarch 
because of his lack of good fortune. Had he 
gained the day over LucuUus and Pompey, he 
would have been lauded to the skies by the ancient 
writers, and by modern writers in turn. 

Tigranes, however, had shown himself a very great ruler, an able 
warrior, and had not Mithidrates drawn him away into ambitions out of 
proportion to his people's resources, his statesmanship would have been 
profound. Greater foresight would have enabled this king to found a 
lasting empire. He had unfortunately Asiatic ideas concerning the cre- 
ation and government of a State; one success led him to want yet another, 
and his Oriental views included no other reasons for the possession of 
power. Inevitably Armenia had to become one day an agent of Rome 
against the Parthians, but her rulers could have chosen to be the Re- 
public's ally and not its servant. 

With the Romans, friendship first and then protection were the 
forerunners of annexation. But Armenia's position and military strength 
would have constrained Rome to treat her with consideration, had her 
kings not alternated in alliances with both the great rival powers, the 
Republic and the Persians, and if her provincial governors had not been 
most of the time at enmity among themselves, divided by contrary in- 
terests. The Iranian Arsacids and the Romans both had numerous 
agents working for them in the Armenian dominions, and their influence 
on the inhabitants, on the ruling classes, and on the monarchs themselves, 
was pernicious. Tigranes IPs superior intelligence and the blood the 
Armenian people so bravely shed deserved a better reward than the 
bitter fruit of servitude. Thus crumbled in dust the hopes of two men 
of genius who at one time seemed raised up by destiny to revive Greek 
culture in the Eastern world. 

The Parthians had just taken up arms once more and were threaten- 
ing not only Armenia but the Roman possessions in Asia. Rome there- 
fore had to prepare for war. 

— 99 — 

The Senate selected for the expedition the member of 
MARCUS the triumvirate (Caesar, Pompey, and Marcus Crassus) 

CRASSUS the least fitted for the task. Marcus Crassus, an old man 
notorious for his ambition, his incompetence, and his sor- 
did avarice, was appointed over the Roman army. He left the Eternal 
City during the autumn, 54 B.C., sailed from Brundisium with seven 
legions, disembarked at Dyrrachium, and crossing Epirus, Macedonia, 
and Thrace by the Via Ignatia, reached Asia Minor by the Hellespont, 
and proceeded to the Euphrates. On M. Crassus' arrival at the frontier 
of Armenia, Tigranes' son, Artavazd, whom his father had made co-regnant 
ever since the battle of Tigranocerta, had been reigning alone since the 
previous year, the probable date of the old king's death. 

In Persia, Phraat HI had prepared an immense 
ARTAVAZD III expedition against the Armenians, and he would un- 
56-34 B.C. doubtedly have taken back his former provinces had 

he been able to carry out his plans, but he had just 
been slain by his sons Mithidrates and Orodes. After committing this 
odious crime, the two brothers were fighting one another for the throne 
of the King of Kings. Mithidrates feeling his side was the weaker had 
appealed for help to Gabinius, the proconsul of Syria, when he was de- 
feated by an army under the Surena or grand vizier of his brother. He 
was captured and put to death in his brother's presence at Babylon. 

Rid of his rival by this fresh murder, 
and no longer embarrassed by a civil war, 
Orodes resumed the execution of his fa- 
ther's plans, and his forces started out 
against the king of Armenia. Crassus who, 
after occupying Nicephorium (Rakkah) 
beyond the Euphrates, was back in Syria, 
crossed the river again with 40,000 men, 
uncertain as to which road he should take 
Artavazd, arriving with 6,000 horsemen, 
advised the general to go forward through Armenia where his army would 
have no difficulties and run no danger. Crassus however chose the south- 
ern route across the desert. Abgar HI, king of Osrhoene, who occupied 
Edessa and Carrhae, was an ally of the Romans, and the triumvir expected 
that the great Greek cities of the Euphrates and the Tigris would rise 
against the Persians and render him much assistance. Abgar encouraged 


to advance against Orodes. 

100 — 

these hopes in Crassus' mind and urged him to take the southern road. 
Fear lest the Parthian king should carry away the treasures of Ctesiphon 
into the interior of the empire also weighed much in the greedy general's 
decision, for mindful of the riches that LucuUus brought back with him 
from Asia, he thought he saw his own chance of making a tremendous 

Crassus crossed the Euphrates at Zeugma (Biredjik) with seven 
legions, 43,000 men. On arriving there his lieutenant Cassius advised him 
to follow the river bank and have a flotilla of boats laden with supplies 
and material follow alongside on the water, (the method later adopted 
by the Emperor Julian), so as to strike his enemies a big blow by ap- 
pearing before their capital cities of Seleucia on the right bank of the 
Tigris and Ctesiphon on its left. But, lured by the plan of the king of 
Osrhoene, Crassus marched directly on Carrhae across the desert of 
eastern Mesopotomia. By way of Tigranocerta and Nisibis the Roman 
army was to reach the Tigris and going down that river's bank via Hatra 
reach Seleucia, remaining protected in the direction of Persia. This cam- 
paign plan was much less favorable than that of having the legions follow 
the Euphrates, for it necessitated transporting the war material and sup- 
plies on camels, and the enormous supply caravans hindered and delayed 
the army's advance. Crassus in command for the first time in these arid 
lands did not realize properly the natural difficulties. He went forward 
confidently, therefore, but when a few days later the legions reached 
the Balissos river (the Nahr-Belik), they saw in the distance a detach- 
ment of enemy cavalry. Abgar and his Arabs set off in pursuit of the 
latter, but these men of Osrhoene did not come back. The following day, 
the Roman army weary and thirsty was six miles south of Carrhae 
(Harran), a little to the north of Ichnae, when the Parthian squadrons 
appeared with their standards of gold-embroidered silk. The Grand 
Vizier was in personal command, and near him was seen the traitor Abgar 
with his Arabs. 

Publius Crassus, the son of the Roman general, commanding a corps 
of Gauls, was afraid lest he be surrounded; he rushed on the enemy, 
but the latter going backward drew him away from the main body of 
his army. Then the Persian heavy cavalry charged down on him from 
all sides, with their long spears and their steel scale-armor covering man 

— 101 — 

and steed, and the Gauls, obliged to form a ring, were submerged on 
this shelterless plain under a deluge of arrows. Publius Crassus was 
wounded, and seeing his six thousand men massacred, ordered his atten- 
dants to kill him. 

A few hours after this first disaster, the host of Parthian bowmen 
under the protection of mailed lancers were busy destroying two-thirds 
of Crassus' army. The remnants of the seven legions took refuge first 
of all in the city of Carrhae, but proceeded during the night to withdraw 
to the Armenian mountains, led by Ca'ius Cassius. The Parthians, how- 
ever, did not mean to lose their hold and, harrassing unremittingly the 
Roman army, forced Crassus to sue for terms. Once they had drawn 
him into a trap, they slaughtered him and his escorting officers. 

Ten thousand Roman soldiers fell into the enemy's hands and were 
sent to the Persian army of Margiana. Caius Cassius painfully regained 
Syria, bringing back eight or nine thousand men, all that were left of 
the splendid army of 43,000 soldiers that had left Italy. The grand vizier 
sent the Roman general's head to his master Orodes, who was then in- 
vading Armenia. Artavazd III (56-34 B.C.) was on the throne of the 
latter country. 

This ruler, the son and heir of Tigranes the Great, was loyal during 
the early part of his reign to his father's commitments towards the Ro- 
mans, and he supplied Crassus at the opening of the campaign with a 
corps of 6,000 men. Whether he forsook the Roman general upon the 
latter's refusal to pass through Armenia, or whether he was getting ready 
to come to his assistance, we cannot say. However, the invasion of his 
kingdom by the Parthians seems to have been his chief reason for with- 
drawing to his own land. Crassus' disaster prompted him to make peace, 
and he therefore came to terms with the Persians. To seal the new al- 
liance he gave his sister in marriage to Prince Pacorus, Orodes' favorite 

The news of the great victory won by the Surena reached the Persian 
court during the celebration of this marriage, and a Greek company of 
players were giving Euripides' "Bacchantes" before the two assembled 
royal courts, both sovereigns and their courtiers being well versed ia 

— 102 — 


Greek literature and enthusiastically fond of 
Greek plays. Artavazd, as we have seen, had 
himself written tragedies, speeches, and nar- 
ratives in that language, and his writings were 
still extant in the first century of our era. 

The player who took the part of Agave 
seized the head of Crassus in the place of that 
of Pentheus, and in a burst of bacchantlc 
frenzy, grasped it by its hair and held it aloft, 
declaiming the famous lines: "From the mountains, lo! we bring to the 
palace our new-slain quarry fair. Blessed chase!" We can be sure that 
the applause of the Armenians amid that of the Parthians could hardly 
have been genuine, for Artavazd undoubtedly understood that the Romans, 
his allies of yesterday, would make him responsible for their misfortune. 
The Partho-Armenian army invaded Syria, but Cassius in Antioch 
resisted him successfully, and with the help of fresh contingents that had 
been sent him posthaste, the former lieutenant of Crassus even managed 
to drive Pacorus from Coelo-Syria. Six years later (45 B.C.) Orodes 
taking advantage of the neglect in which Rome seemed to be leaving her 
Eastern affairs, again sent Pacorus into Syria to give armed assistance to 
the republican Cecilius Bassus who had risen against Caesar. 

At this period, Armenia's history becomes so close- 
ly mixed with world politics that it is impossible to 
speak of the Armenians and their doings without see- 
ing the latter as resulting from the actions of the great 
empires. Their so-called autonomy becomes purely 
nominal and their kings become mere lieutenants of 
Persian or Roman generals as the case may be. 

Caesar was thinking of avenging the indignity suf- 
fered by Rome in the disaster and murder of Crassus, 
of recapturing from the Parthians at Ctesiphon the 
standards that had been taken and of punishing Paco- 
rus for his new attempts on Syria, when the dictator's days were cut 
short by the assassin's dagger. The confusion that prevailed in the Re- 
public upon the death of the great leader left Asia unprotected and al- 
lowed the Persians and Armenians to advance into Syria and Phoenicia, 
and even into Palestine, these provinces now being at liberty due to the 
flight of their governor Decidius Saxa. Quintus Labienus, the son of 
Titus Labienus, Caesar's enemy, who had gone over to the Persian side, 





103 — 

was back in Syria with the army of Pacorus. Thus the civil war in Rome 
brought the Parthians unexpected aid. Orodes had himself schooled in 
Roman methods of war and the tactical formation of armies, and was be- 
coming every day a more formidable adversary. 

Despite these disturbing signs, good fortune still attended the Eternal 
City. Antony, his quarrels with Octavius having subsided, was able to 
send Ventidius Bassus to Asia Minor. Labienus was beaten and fled 
to Cilicia where he was taken and put to death, and the skillful Ventidius, 
in possession of the gorges of the river Amanus, defeated the Parthian 
general Pharnapates. Pacorus after being compelled to return to the 
other side of the Euphrates likewise suffered defeat at Qindara, to the 
north-east of Antioch, where he was killed (1). Meanwhile, Publius 
Canidius Crassus vanquished in battle the Armenians together with Phar- 
nabazus, the king of the Iberians, and Zober, prince of Albania, who had 
joined with the Parthians against Rome. The sovereignty of the Re- 
public thus extended from the deserts of Syria to the shores of the Caspian 

Tired, however, of these seemingly interminable wars, Rome de- 
termined to strike a decisive blow, and her opportunity for such action 
was greatly enhanced by events taking place at the Persian court. 

The death of Pacorus and the loss of the 
Syrian provinces threw the Arsacid king Orodes 
into despair. He had just appointed his son, 
Phraat IV, as his successor, when the latter in 
his impatience to don the diadem of the King 
of Kings, caused the assassination of his father, 
his own brothers and eldest son, and all the 
nobles who showed loyalty to the slain king. 
These crimes impelled many of the Persian no- 
bility and satraps to flee their country and take 
refuge with the Romans. Menoeses, one of the 
highest among the chief Iranian lords, was one 
of the refugees. Thus the strife in Persia had enabled Rome to take Ar- 
menia again under her wing. 






The quarrels in Rome seemed stilled for the 
present, and no longer worried in that direction, 
Mark Antony with the support of his colleague 

(1) June 9th, 38 B.C. 

— 104 — 

and brother-in-law Octavlus, set out for the East at the head of 70,000 
infantry, 40,000 auxiliaries and 10,000 Spaniards. Armenia supplied the 
triumvir with a contingent of 6,000 horsemen. The Roman army con- 
sisted accordingly of 126,000 fighting men. Their general, reverting to 
Caesar's plans, and relying on his numerical strength, hoped to recapture 
at Ctesiphon or Ecbatana the standards lost 
by Crassus. 

Their cruel defeats had taught the Ro- 
mans finally that the plains of Mesopotamia 
were too unsafe for any expeditionary force. 
The triumvir proposed, therefore, to make Ar- DENARIUS OF MARK 
menia his bridgehead and strike through Media CLEOPATRA 

to the heart of Iran. But though dauntless in "ARMENIA DEVICTA" 
action, he did not have those qualities of caution 
and foresight, of dominion over himself and his 

passions, needed to succeed in great undertakings. After wasting in idle- 
ness several months of the favorable season, he set out for the Euphrates, 
accompanied by Cleopatra. Then, impatient to return to his life of 
pleasure with the Egyptian queen, who had left him when he reached 
the river, he did not take the time to winter in Armenia. Anxious to 
finish as soon as possible with the Persians, he crossed the Armenian 
mountains and entered the plains of Atropatenes. In this too rapid ad- 
vance, the Roman general was so unwise as to leave in his rear his 
caravan of besieging engines, and this train of heavy equipment was sud- 
denly attacked by Artavazd, the son of Ariobarzanus, king of Atropatenes, 
and by Menoeses who had made peace with the Parthians; both of the 
legions who were in charge of these engines of war under the command 
of Oppius were overwhelmed by the Persians. 

On account of this loss Antony was unable to take Phraaspa, one 
of the strongholds of Atropatenes inhabited by the Sagartii (modern 
Gherrous), and he was abandoned by the king of Armenia who returned 
to his kingdom with his six thousand horsemen. The Roman general 
did not begin his retreat until later, much too late even. He withdrew 
eventually by way of Gazaka (1), the shore of lake Mateanas (2), and 

(1) Chahr-e-viran (Kurdistan of Moukri). 

(2) Lake Urumiah. 

— 105 - 

the mountains south of the Araxes. But in this march of three hundred 
Roman miles across dry and barren lands, no less than 24,000 of his 
legionaries perished from fatigue, cold, and hunger, or else under the 
arrows of 40,000 Parthian horsemen who, notwithstanding Phraat's pro- 
mises, harassed the retreating army unceasingly. 

Far from acknowledging his own lack of caution, Antony accused 
Artavazd, the king of Armenia, of being responsible for his disaster, by 
withdrawing and taking back his cavalry. Nevertheless, so anxious was 
he to get back to the queen of Egypt that he refused to winter in the 
Ararat territory and, postponing his vengeance against Artavazd, he 
pushed on to Antioch in Syria, losing another 8,000 men on the way from 
sickness and cold. 

Amid the shameful feasts he gave at Antioch, however, Antony 
did not forget his grievances. In vain did he try to induce Artavazd to 
come to him. In the following spring (34 B.C.) the triumvir returned 
to Armenia and succeeded through Q. Dellius in persuading the king that 
he should accept an interview with Antony for the sake of keeping his 
throne. Hardly did the unhappy prince arrive in Roman hands than in 
defiance of plighted faith he was placed In chains and paraded as a cap- 
tive through his own dominions where he was forced to throw open 
his strongholds and to bring forth their treasures. Antony kept him to 
adorn his triumph in chains along with his wife and sons, and to walk 
captive through the streets of Alexandria. Consequently, although van- 
quished by the Parthlans and with his army destroyed, the triumvir did 
score a triumph nevertheless; his only captives, however, were his former 

Antony dreamed of restoring in the East an Alexandrian empire, 
able to hold its own with that which the Roman State was about to 
become. He knew the ambitious schemes of Octavlus and was pre- 
paring to carve out for himself his share of the Republic's provinces. 
As for king Artavazd of Armenia, he was ousted to make room for the 
son of Antony and Cleopatra, named Alexander, and also to reward the 
king of Atropatenes. The latter who bore also the name of Artavazd 
was the only ruler who had suffered from the Roman incursion Into 
Persia; his suzerain, Phraat, reaped all the advantages of that campaign. 

— 106 — 

The king of Atropatene gave his daughter, lotape, in marriage to the 
new king of Armenia, Alexander, and delivered 
to Antony the standards taken from Statilius, 
receiving for himself Symbacia, an Armenian 
province once a part of Media. The kingdom 
of Armenia Major fell to Alexander, while Pole- 
mon, the husband of Pythodoris, Antony's neph- 
ew, who had furthered the intrigues of the king of Atropatenes against 
the Armenian king, was placed on the throne of Lesser Armenia or Ar- 
menia Minor. 




34-31 B.C. 


But these political arrangements, turning rival 
peoples into allies and giving nations kings against their 
will, met with stiff resistance among the inhabi- 
tants. The Armenians refused to obey Alexander and 
set up, in opposition to Antony's son, the son of their 
own captive king, or Artaxes II (1). The latter, beset 
by the troops of Rome and the satrap of Atropatenes, 
was obliged to take refuge with the Parthians at the 
court of Phraat IV. Finally, taking advantage of the 
fact that Antony had been compelled to withdraw his 
legions from Armenia to maintain his struggle against 
Augustus, the Persian king invaded both Atropatene 
and Armenia, and gave the latter crown to the national 

Thinking that the civil war in Rome would last 
ARTAXES II a long time, Phraat IV of Persia and Artaxes II of 
30-20 B.C. Armenia were planning to take from the Romans their 

possessions west of the Euphrates, when a claimant to 
the throne of Iran, Tiridates II, rose up against the Arsacid monarch, 
proclaimed himself Great King in Cteslphon, and forced his adversary 
to flee for safety to the eastern Scythians (2). Armenia was thus left 

(1) Archam of the Armenians. 

(2) In the Transcaspian territory. 

107 — 

alone to carry out the above ambitions, and feeling herself too weak, she 
refrained. Meanwhile, Cleopatra having beheaded her prisoner, Arta- 
vazd, the son of that unhappy monarch took his revenge by slaying all 
the Romans within his dominions. 


In the meantime, however, the battle of Actium re- 
sulted in giving Octavius the supreme power, and he, 

tired of the unceasing conflicts either because of Armenia 

or about Armenia, decided to place all the regions on the 

east of the Euphrates, north of the Tigris, and above the 

Araxes, under Roman protection. Thus the territories of 

the Iberians and the Albanians, i.e. all the peoples south 

of the Great Caucasus chain, were included for the first 

time. This plan meant a downright check to the power of 

Persia and Octavius would stop at nothing to carry out 

his intention. Bribed by Roman gold, the Ar- 
menians rebelled against Artaxes II, put him to ^ 
death, and Tiberius Claudius Nero, then 22 
years old, came and crowned as king of Ar- 
menia the younger brother of Artaxes, Ti- 
granes III. Armenia then was given up to 
anarchy. Tigranes III was carried off appar- 
ently by sickness, but more probably by poison. 
Tigranes IV demanded investiture by the Romans, 
while two other claimants to the throne made their 
appearance, namely Erovaz (?) and Artavazd IV. 





20 B.C. TO 

A.D. 1 

This period of Armenian history is very ob- 
scure. The Persians and Romans fought long for 
influence in the country. Finally, in the first year 
of our era, Phraat, who had recovered the throne of 
Iran, relinquished all claims to the kingdom of Ar- 
menia, and left his brothers as hostages with the 

But, as we have seen in the foregoing pages, 

— 108 

the word of a ruler was of little value 
in those days. Each one, whether Ro- 
man or Persian, spoke according to 
his momentary interest. Crimes and 
treacheries followed one another un- 
ceasingly and the Armenian question re- 
mained ever the chief concern of the 
two great rival States, both pursuing 
their own aims regarding general policy 
in the East (1). 




(1) For the facts related in this chapter, consult: PLINY, Nat. Hist.; PLU- 
DION CASSIUS and MOMMSEN, Rom. Gesch.; HUBSCHMANN, Die Altarmen. 
Ortsn.; Fr. TOURNEBISE, Histoire politique et religieuse de VArmenie. 

V ^ V 

— 109 — 


The Foreign Dynasty (A.D. 2-53). — The Arsacids of Armenia 
(A.D. 53-429) — Tiridates II the Great (A.D. 217-238). — Conversion 
OF Armenia to Christianity. — Saint Gregory the Illuminator. 

The succession of rulers named by the historians of Armenia 
"the Foreign Dynasty" coincides with the period when the Armenians, 
though nominally independent, were subjected in 
turn to Roman and Persian influence. Divided by 
their powerful neighbors' policies, they wavered ac- 
cording to circumstances towards the one or the other 
of these temporary overlords, too weak to assert 
their national independence. The armies of the Caes- 
ars, like those of the King of Kings, imposed for a 
while their wills on the Armenian court, and the 
crown was given to the partisans of Rome or those 
of Persia as the exi- 
gencies of the day de- 
manded. This was fol- 
lowed by peaceful peri- 
ods when the Persians 
and Romans, too busy 
elsewhere, left Arme- 
nia alone and enabled her to throw oflF the 
yoke. Even then, however, she remained 
in a state of indecision as to her course of 

But national life was still vigorous in Ar- 
menia; her army furnished contingents some- 
times to the Persians, sometimes to the Romans. 
The feudal lords maintained very considerable 
independence, and thought continued to develop along the traditional 

(1) Obv. Laureate head of Augustus, right: CAESAR. AUGUSTUS. DIVI. F. 
PATER. PATRIAE. Rev. Caius and Lucius standing each with spear and shield, 
ladle and staff. Silver. 

— 110 — 






A.D. 2 

lines of the great Tigranes. The little we know of this ill-defined period 
shows that notwithstanding the constant wars inflicted on the country 
the people were progressing both under foreign influence and by their 
own energy. As we have seen, letters and arts flourished at the Armenian 
court under Tigranes. We know that this progress did not lapse under 
Artaxias' dynasty, for the moment that the Armenians acquired a few 
centuries later the art of writing they had lacked, there sprang forth a 
language of considerable refinement which originated surely from an oral 
culture. In the same way, many centuries earlier, the Greeks had acquired 
a taste for literature long before they knew the alphabet, and owned their 
intellectual development to a number of other Aryan nations who were still 
illliterate. Moreover, in Rome the Armenians were far from being looked 
on as barbarians; their rulers were received with great respect, and in the 
Eternal City writers spoke highly of the sumptuous life of these lordly 

Under Persian and Roman influence in 
turn, there arose in Armenia, despite the 
country's burning desire to regain indepen- 
dence, a period of kings who occupied the 
throne without belonging to 'the nation. 

The first of these rulers was a Persian of 


the name of Ariobarzanus who reigned ARTAVAZD V 

about A.D. 2. He was already king of Media and 

Atropatenes when at Augustus' orders he was made 

king of Armenia by Caius Caesar. This king was 

succeeded by his son Artavazd V (A.D. 2-11). A 

Jewish king, Tigranes V (A.D. 11-14) then ascended 

the throne, but as this foreign monarch did not govern 

to the Armenians' liking, the nationalists recalled 

Erato, the sister of Tigranes IV, who resumed her 

reign (A.D. 14-15). She was succeeded by Vonones, 

a Parthian (A.D. 16-17) (1). Then Zeno, the son 

of Polemon and Pythodoris, to whom Antony had 

formerly given the kingdom of Pontus, was sent and 



ERATO 14-15 


(1) About A.D. 16 Vonones or Onones. son of Phraat, king of Persia, was a 
hostage at Rome when, after the murder of Orodes 11, the Parthians asked Angnstns 
to appoint a son of Phraat as successor. He was appointed, but, vanquished by 
Artaban, a rival for the throne, he had to flee to Armenia where he was named 
king. Abandoned however by Tiberius who had succeeded Augustus, he was driven 
from Armenia by the Parthians and took refuge in Syria where the Romans had 
him slain. (Cf. TACITUS, Annals II, 2, 4, 68) . 

Ill — 

ARTASHES III enthroned by Germanicus to rule over Armenia as 
18-31 Artashes III. For sixteen years (A.D. 18-34) the 

latter governed the dominions under Western vas- 
salage. But the Persians regaining the ascendancy, 
ARCHAK 1 in the place of the Romans the Arsacids appointed 

34-35 one of their number, Arsaces or Archak I (A.D. 

34-35) as king of Armenia. 
In this period, at the beginning of the Christian era, (A.D. 8), is 
recorded the accession to the throne of Osrhoene of a branch of the royal 
family of Armenia. Presumably the Arabian princes who had succeeded 
Osrhoes (137-132 B.C.) had feudal connection with Armenia, In any 
case, Moses of Khoren and Vartan both inform us that Abgar V. Uchama, 
the "Apkar" of the Armenians, a grandson of Artashes and consequently 
a descendant of Tigranes the Great, left Medzpin and transferred his 
capital to Edessa, and that his descendants ruled over Osrhoene until 
the time of Gordian III, when about A.D. 240 that emperor dispossessed 
Abgar XI of his kingdom and made it a Roman 
province. This expansion of Armenian influence 
into Syria played an important part in Eastern pol- 
itical life, but we have insufficient information on 
this point, and what we have is vague and often 

Fresh wars resulted in the 

Armenian throne passing to the 

hands of the Iberians in the 

person of Mithidrates (A.D. 35- 

37 and 47-51) who drove out the Arsacid ruler. He 

was succeeded by his nephew Rhadamistus (A.D. 

51-53) the son of Phraasmanes I, king of Georgia, 

who murdered him in a dastardly statagem. Tacitus 

(1) has given us the account of this crime in terms 

depictmg vividly the infamous customs of those 

disturbed times. 

Rhadamistus arrived at his uncle's court, al- 
legedly fleeing from the unjust severities of his 
father and stepmother. He craved hospitality of 
the xArmenians, and was received with open arms. 


35-37 & 47-51 





(1) Annals XII, 44-52. 

— 112 -^ 

He was not long in making friends among the nobles of the country, and 
taking advantage of his uncle's good nature he ere long formed a power- 
ful party. When the time was ripe, he sent word to the king of Iberia, who 
suddenly invaded Armenia and put his son on the throne. Mithidrates, 
taken by surprise and betrayed by most of his feudatories, took refuge 
in the stronghold of Gornea (Garni), the ruins of which town are still to 
be seen at the foot of the mountains near Erivan. It was then held by a 
Roman garrison, for Armenia was at that time a vassal State of the Em- 
pire, and the king relied on the legions to protect him. But the prefect of 
the fort. Coelius Pollio, seduced by gifts from the Iberians, planned to 
deliver up his guest, and while apparently negotiating with Phraasmanes, 
urged the king to accept a meeting proposed him by Rhadamistus. Mith- 
idrates, however, was not without misgivings. Being a Georgian, he 
knew he had everything to fear from his nephew's treachery. But as 
the Romans threatened to abandon him, he at last yielded. The meeting 
was arranged near a sacred wood at the foot of the mountain where the 
friendship of the two princes was according to custom to be sealed by a 
sacrifice to the gods. 

The Iberian custom on such occasions was to join the two right 
hands, tie both thumbs together, and prick them so that blood flowed 
from each. The rivals then each raised the other's bleeding thumb to 
his lips and swore the oath, rendering the mutual promise more sacredly 

When about to go through this ceremony, Mithidrates was seized and 
pinioned. Rhadamistus had sworn not to kill his uncle by the sword or 
by poison, and so he had him suflFocated under cushions, while the victim's 
wife, Rhadamistus' sister, was strangled and her children slaughtered. 

These heinous crimes, though committed 
by barbarians, were a shameful record for the 
Roman authorities who bore all the respon- 
sibility. Nevertheless the governor of Cappa- 
docia, Julius Paelignus, Coelius Pollio's su- 
perior, recognized the new king of Armenia. 
The Iberian gifts had done their work even DENARIUS OF 

to the halls of Caesarea. But the Emperor's GERMANICUS with. 

o • XT 'I- r\ J REVERSE, THE 

representative m byria, JNumidms Quadratus, CROWNING OF 

was rightly disturbed as to the public reaction ARTAXIAS 

to the misdeed of Coelius Pollio, and was con- 
sidering punishing him. His council, however, were of a difTerent opinion. 

— 113 — 

Of what consequence was it, anyhow, that the throne of Armenia should 
be filled by the uncle or the nephew, or that the barbarians should kill one 
another; did not their quarrels serve Rome's pur- 
pose? The Persians had very little influence over 
Iberia where Rome was all-powerful; was it not 
better to let a Georgian dynasty settle in all the 
districts of Armenia bordering the Parthians? 
After the death of Phraasmanes, Rhadamistus 
COIN OF ANTIOCHUS would unite the two kingdoms and thus form a 

IV EPIPHANES, WITH g^-^j-g strong enough to hold the Parthians in check. 
lOTAPE . , 

Rome, moreover, missed no opportunity to 

strengthen its power by means of the small nations. Antiochus IV. Epi- 
phanes (A.D. 38-72) king of Commagene, had helped Corbulo in his 
Eastern campaign, and Nero to reward him for his assistance took advan- 
tage of disturbances in Armenia to add a part of that country to his 

This episode in one of the most troubled periods in Armenia's history 
gives an idea of the frightful upheavals this unhappy kingdom under- 
went. Not only did they suffer from Roman and Persian treachery, and 
that of their northern neighbors, but they were divided among themselves 
by the rivalries and greed of their feudal lords . Anarchy was rampant. 
Every day the frontiers of kingdoms were altered, Armenia was separated 
into upper and lower countries, whole districts were taken away from or 
added to the domains of the various rulers, and with continual bloodshed 
and towns and villages aflame, ruin and mourning spread over the land. 





The Persians, apprehensive of the increasing 
Roman power, then invaded Armenia intending to 
dethrone the Georgian usurper and make these 
mountain people accept a king whom they them- 
selves could rely on. Rhadamistus fled at full 
speed, with his wife Zenobia behind him on his 
horse, she being several months pregnant. This 
Zenobia was the daughter of the uncle he had 
murdered. Fainting and unable to bear the mad 
flight, the queen begged him to end her agony. 
Plunging his dagger into her breast, the son of 
Phraasmanes threw her into the Araxes and rushed 








onward, with the Parthian horsemen sent to seize him, close on his heels. 
Zenobia, however, did not die. Saved by some shepherds, she was de- 
livered to king Tiridates whom the Persians had just 
raised to the throne and this king received her with all 
the respect owed to her rank and her misfortunes. /'^. 

After the Parthians had left, Rhadamistus returned 
to Armenia and endeavored to obtain the assistance 
of the feudatories in regaining his crown; but his be- 
havior to the inhabitants was so wicked and his ven- 
geance so cruel that he was driven off by his former 
subjects and had to flee back to his father. 

At this point begins the rule of the dynasty of the 
Arsacids in Armenia. These rulers occupied the throne 
of the descendants of Haik for about four centuries and 
gave to Armenian history one of its most brilliant pages. 

The first sovereign of this dynasty was Tiridates I 
TIRIDATES I (A.D. 53-59 and 66-100), the brother of Vologeses, king 
53-100 of Persia. His accession meant Armenia's entry into 

the wide feudal system of the Arsacids, at the head 
of which political set-up stood the Iranian overlord who bore the title 
of King of Kings. Next to him ranked the Arsacids of Armenia; thirdly, 
those of Bactriana; and the fourth place was that of the Arsacid rulers 
of the northern Caucasus reigning over the Massagetes. The king of 
Persia, as suzerain, was alone entitled to mint money and have his head 
appear on coins. 

— lis 




Rome viewed with misgivings the oc- 
cupancy of the Armenian throne by the 
brother of the king of Persia. For a ruler 
hostile to the Empire to be thus raised to 
power augured the early downfall of Roman 
influence in those regions so important pol- 
itically to the Imperial 
State. Nero entrusted 
Corbulo with the task of 
driving out the Arsacid 
king and putting on the 
t h rone Tigranes VI 
(A.D. 60-62), the nephew 
of the last king of that name, and grandson 
of Archelaos, king of Cappadocia. This 
protege of Rome died, however, after reign- 
ing two years, and Vologeses induced Cor- 
bulo to agree to his brother receiving the 
Emperor's investiture in Rome. Tiridates 
went accordingly to be crowned by Nero. But this step meant no humilia- 
tion for the Armenian king. He had hardly crossed into Roman territory 
when he was received as a 

sovereign and welcomed in 

every city with signal honors. 
Tiridates was accompanied by 
all the chief lords of the king- 
dom and by the Queen and 
her children, also by an escort 
of three thousand horsemen, 
in short all the splendor of 
Eastern pomp. Tacitus, Pliny, 
Dion Cassius, have all given 
us accounts of the visit of the 
king of Armenia to Italy. He 

entered the city of Nicopolis on a chariot to greet the Emperor who was 
there at the time, but the coronation took place further on at Rome 






A KING. (1) 




(\) Obv. L. VERUS AUG. ARMENICUS. Laureate head of L. Varus on right. 

— 116 

where the Senate had voted the arrangement of sumptuous feasts. Nero 
seated on a throne placed the royal crown on Tirldates' head, the latter 
kneeling. Once he was back in his dominions, he restored the city of 
Artaxata which he renamed Neronia, and took back, with the help of the 
legions, from the Albanians the land those people had seized from Armenia 
during the disturbances of the Foreign Dynasty. 

Exedares (A.D. 100-113), Tiridates' successor, added 

EXEDARES Lower Armenia to his domains, surrendering it later to 

100-113 the Romans. Lesser Armenia had already become a 

province of the Empire, after having passed from the 





hands of Polemon, King of Pontus, to those of 
Archelaos, king of Cappadocia, and then to Cotys, 
king of the Cimmerian Bosporus, (Crimea) — her 
last rulers being Aristobulus under Nero and Ti- 
granes under Vespasian. Thus the limits of the 
Roman Empire gradually moved forward from 
the banks of the Euphrates to those of the Tigris,, 
and as the Arsacid dynasty of Armenia seemed 
more loyal to their suzerain power than they were 
to their kinsmen, the kings of Persia, Rome had 
every reason to support them (1). 

Parthamasiris (A.D. 113-114), Parthamas- 

(1) The tille ARMENICUS in the inscriptions on coins, is given to Marcus 
Aurelius and Lucius Verus. That of PARTICUS is given to Trajan, Hadrian, Marcus 
Aurelius, Lucius Verus, Septimius Severus, Caracalla, and Carus. These titles cease 
before the time of Constantine I, and are never found on Byzantine coins although 
long used in Imperial rescripts. Justinian I calls himself Allemanicus, Gothicns,, 
Germanicus, Franciscus, Alamicus, Vandalicus, etc. 

— 117 — 

pates (116-117), Vologeses (Vagharch) (117-140), 
Sohemus (140-162, 163-178), Pacorus (162-163), San- 
atruces (178-216), Vologeses II (Vagharch II) (217- 
238), all these rulers of the Arsacid line followed one 
another on the throne of Armenia. Constantly at 
strife with their Persian kinsmen as well as with their 
Roman suzerains, these kings dealt very tactfully 
with their powerful neighbors, always acting so as 
to prevent any setback having irretrievable conse- 
quences. These rivalries, however, caused the 
greatest calamities to fall on Armenia during the 
reigns of the first Arsacid kings. Finally, TIrldates 
II. also called Chosroes I the Great (A.D. 217-238) 
ascended the throne, and from his time began the 
great development of the Armenian people, later destined by the adoption 
of Christianity to join forever with Western civilization and break away 
from Eastern culture. 















A great revolution had just transformed 
Iran. Artakchater (Artaxerxes), the son of Pa- 
pek, of the lineage of Sassan, prince of the prov- 
ince of Persis, had overthrown the Arsacid mon- 
archy, and ascended the throne of the King of 
Kings. Descended from the Mazdean high-priests 

— 118 — 


(Marble, Louvre Museum) 

of Fars, he announced his intention 
of restoring to his new empire the re- 
ligion of their ancestors and of ex- 
pelling the Greco-Parthian deities 
along with Greek influence. But, al- 
though he had vanquished Artaban, 
the new Great King had not yet con- 
quered all the Arsacid princes, and 
the Parthians of Armenia were 
among those who refused to accept 
him as their suzerain 

Agathangelus has left us, in 
Greek and Armenian, (1) a history of 
Tiridates II, and his account of the 
first contacts of the Mazdean-Per- 
sians and the still heathen Armen- 
ians, although highly colored, shows 
vividly the new state of things 
brought about by the revival of the 
Zoroastrian worship and by the ac- 
cession of the son of Papek. 

"When the kingdom of the Par- 
"thians was nearing its downfall 
"Ardashir, the son of Sassan, satrap 
"of the province of Sdahr [Istakhar], 
"killed Artaban, the son of Vologeses, 
"and seized his throne. Then he 
"drew to his side the Persian armies 
"who forsook and shook off with 

(1) Transl. V. LANGLOIS, Coll. Hist, armeniens, vol I, 1881, p. 114 sq. 

— 119 — 

"contempt the Parthian rule, and with one accord 
"Ardashir, son of Sassan, was chosen to be their king. 
"Chosroes [Tiridates II], the king of the Armenians, 
"learned of Artaban's death. Chosroes held second 
"rank in the Persian [Arsacid] monarchy. Although 
"he had the news early, he made no preparations to 
"fight. He returned to his country extremely sad, not 
"having been able to foresee these events or put them 

"But early the following year (227) Chosroes, 
"king of Armenia, raised an army. He gathered the 
"armies of the Aghouank [Albania], and the Georgians, 
"opened the Gate of the Alans [the gorges of Dariall] 
"(1) and called forth the Huns to attack the frontiers 
"of Persia. He ravaged the lands of Assyria, as far as 
"the gates of Ctesiphon; he sacked and put to fire and 
"sword the populous cities and flourishing towns and 
"ruined the country, leaving it uninhabited. He sought 
"to destroy everything; he leveled cities to their foun- 
"dations and sought to change the laws of the Persian 
"monarchy. He had sworn to avenge his race de- 

"spoiled of their kingdom. Relying on his large number of soldiers and 

"expecting much from their might, he became inflamed with pride, hatred, 

"and desire for vengeance. Many valiant cohorts of 

"well-armed cavalry from the Aghouans, the Lepins, 

"the Gasps (2), and many others from that region, 

"flocked to his side to avenge the blood of Artaban. 

"He was so distressed that the Persians should have 

"forsaken his kinsmen and submitted as vassals to 

"the new rule of the Sdahrs [Princes of Istakhar] that 

"he sent envoys to those same kinsmen to urge them 

"to gather together with the help of the warlike inhab- 

"itants and brave soldiers of the Kouschans (3) and 

"beyond, also that of their own subjects. But his 

"kinsmen, the heads of families and the notables among 

*'the Parthians did not listen to him, for they had 

"already submitted to Ardashir and were content to 

"be his subjects rather than those of their compatriot 








(rev. the Fire 







"and relative." 

(Footnotes on p. 121) 

120 — 

The Mazdean regression, which the satrap rulers of Persis had long 
been preparing in the people's thought had been well received throughout 
the Empire. Only the grandees of the Arsacid stock had attempted any 
resistance against the new King of Kings. Yielding, however, to armed 
strength, and feeling that the people looked with favor on the old Persian 
religion being restored, and that theirs was a lost cause, they accepted the 
new state of things. Armenia alone held out. 

"Meanwhile Chosroes [Tiridates II] gathered his host of soldiers 
"and of auxiliaries that had arrived from all sides to fight for him. When 
"the king of the Persians saw this host rushing so 
"furiously at him, he moved forward to meet it de- 
"ploying every unit at his command. But, unable to 
"stem the enemy, he began to flee. He was pursued 
"and the whole Persian army routed. Their slain were 
"scattered over all the highways and fields, while those 
"who escaped the sword were dispersed in all dlrec- 

Were we in possession of the chronicles of the Sas- 
sanid kings, unfortunately systematically destroyed by 
the Arabs, we should certainly find that the first en- 
counters between Artaxerxes and the Armenian Ar- 
sacid were less glorious for the Armenians than Aga- 
thangelus relates. There was, no doubt whatever, a 
coalition of the northern peoples against the new regime, for what little 
we know of the Sassanid history shows these kings as engaged in constant 
struggles with the nations of Transcaucasia and the Oxus, but if the Per- 
sian forces did suiTer a few reverses in the early days of this dynasty, 
they could certainly have been only minor battles. 

Agathangelus concludes his narrative (1) after the manner of the 
Assyrian kings, enumerating the booty taken by Tiridates in this alleged 
devastating expedition into Persian territory: 

"The king of the Armenians after this sanguinary exploit returned 




(from the reverse 

of a tetradrachma 

of the princes of 


(Footnotes p. 120) ^„„,« 

(1) In Persian Der-i-AIan, gate of the Alans (Cf. PLINY, VI, 11; PROCOPIUS, 
De Bello Goth.. IV, 1). 

(2) Nomad* of northern Armenia and Georgia, Caucasian mountaineers. 

(3) Peoples of the Transcaspian territory, probably Sogdians and Bactrians. 
(CF. SAINT-MARTIN. Mem. sur TArmenie, vol. II, p. 436437). 

(Footnote this page) 

(1) AGATHANGELUS, ch. L transl. LANGLOIS, Hist. Arm., voL I, p. 117. 
See also, for this campaign, MOSES OF KHOREN, H, 71-73; and UKHTHANNES 
OF EDESSA, both of them doubtless influenced by Agathangelus' narrative. 

— 121 — 

"joyously to Armenia, to the city of Vagharchapat [Etchmiadzin] in the 
"province of Ararat, having gained the day and taken much plunder. He 
"ordered messengers sent out and letters to be written in various places, 
"for thanksgivings to the gods to be celebrated in the temples of the Seven 
"Altars [district of Phaidagaran.] He ordained that in the Arsacid tra- 
"ditional sites consecrated to the national worship, there be presents of 
"white bulls and goats, also of gold and silver vestments with briUiant 
"fringes, also silk cloths adorned with wreaths and festoons, golden crowns, 
"silver ornaments, magnificent silver and gold vases set with precious 
"stones, splendid garments and superb decorations. To all this he added 
"besides a fifth part of all the booty he had taken, and munificent awards 
"to the priests. The soldiers also who had accompanied him were gen- 
"erously rewarded before they were disbanded." 

Western writers (1) throw quite another light on the above events. 
Artaxerxes, hailed on the 28th of April A.D. 227 as King of Kings and the 
restorer of the religion and language of the Persians, and calHng himself: 
"The Mazdean, offspring of the gods, King of Kings of Iran and Aniran" 
(2), revived the Achaemenean claims over all Asia, and summoned the 
Roman Empire to return to him the old-time provinces of Darius. Alex- 
ander Severus sent immediately a large army which was joined by the 
Armenians and the peoples of the North. The center marched on Meso- 
potamia, the right wing on Chaldea, and the left wing on Armenia and 
Atropatenes. But the center was stopped by the main body of the Persian 
army commanded by the king himself; the left wing had to withdraw 
from Media and return to Armenia, while Artaxerxes would have driven 
the Romans from Mesopotamia had he been able to keep his troops on a 
war footing. Abandoned, however, by his troops who clamored to be 
disbanded, he had to withdraw to his own dominions without obtaining 
decisive results. Armenia remained under Roman suzerainty, and Alex- 
ander Severus was the hero, on the Forum, of imaginary victories. 

The restoration of a national monarchy in Persia was, from the stand- 
point of Eastern statesmanship, a highly important occurrence, for the 
Sassanid rulers never genuinely gave up their claims to the countries for- 
merly included in the Achaemenean dominions. The new dynasty by 


5, 1, 17, etc. 

(2) Inscription on his coins: Mazdiasn baghi artahchatr Malkan Malka Iran ou 
Aniran minoutchetri men yezdan. 

— 122 — 

making the religious question its basis of support had by its very acces- 
sion restored order in Persia, where affairs had fallen into utter confusion 
under the last Arsacid kings. 

But a development of even greater importance was taking place in 
the world. While Ahura-Mazda was reasserting his ancient rights over 
Iran, the religion of Christ was spreading throughout the Roman Empire. 
To the opposing state interests of the two Empires there would within a few 
years be added the most implacable opposition of all, that arising from 
contrary religious convictions. 

Prior to the restoration of Mazdeism, while Persia was under the 
Arsacids, religious quarrels were unknown between Iranians, Armenians, 
and Romans. The gods of the Parthians, along with those of Armavir, 
Artaxata, Ani (Gamakh), were all accepted by Roman tolerance. More- 
over, impregnated with Greek lore, the Eastern religions had innumerable 
common ties with that of the West, and the clever assimilations practised 
by the Romans obviated any danger of religious conflict with the various 
nations connected with the Empire. This structure so lab- 
oriously built up during the centuries was soon to crumble: 
a new era was opening, and men were reverting to the times 
when a national god was the nation's standard. Assyria 
had ruled Asia in the name of Assur; henceforth the religion 
of Christ was to enter into combat, first against Mazdeism, 
and then against Islam, to continue until our day. The re- 
ligious tolerance born of Alexander the Great's conquests and 
of Roman shrewdness, lasted only five and a half centuries. 

Shortly after Christ's crucifixion, the Christian faith made 
its appearance in Armenia, of that we may be sure. The 
apostles Thaddeus, Bartholomew, and Jude, who preached 
the gospel in the Ararat regions, were according to legend 
put to death by Sanatruces (Sanadruk), then reigning over 
Adiabene and a part of Armenia. 

The Armenians, as we know, then had no written lan- 
guage; consequently no contemporaneous documents of the 
first three centuries have been handed down to us, and we have very little 
information concerning the progress of Christianity in this land before its 
official conversion. However, the religious persecutions said to have been 
carried out by the kings of Persia and Armenia show the Christians to 
have been already in considerable numbers at the accession to the throne 
of Tiridates III (A.D. 250). During his reign the Christian religion was 

(from a 10th 



adopted, — thirteen years before it triumphed in the West, i.e. before the 
date of Constantine's victory at the Milvian Bridge. Only one hundred 
years later did Theodosius Issue his decrees against paganism. Armenia 
consequently was, according to its historians, the first of any people to 
adopt Christianity officially (1). 

The great evangelist of Armenia v/as Saint Gregory Loussavoritch, 
i.e. The Illuminator, also called by the chroniclers Grigor Partev (Gregory 
the Parthian). 

Gregory was born A.D. 257, of royal Arsacid descent. His father. 
Prince Anak, while out hunting caused the death of Tiridates II, a crime 
instigated by the king of Persia who was irked by the latter's power and 
authority as an ally of the Romans. Tiridates II on his death-bed ordered 
the extermination of Anak and all his family, a command which was 
carried out. Gregory alone escaped and was taken to Caesarea in Cappa- 
docia, where his foster-brother, a Christian, received him and brought 
him up in the Christian faith. His place of refuge and the facts of his 
birth were not unknown, however, for on reaching his majority he married 
the daughter of an Armenian prince, also a Christian. Two children were 
born to them, after which the couple separated to enter monastic life, and 
Gregory went to Armenia where he hoped to make amends for his father's 
crime by converting his native land. 

After the death of Tiridates II, the Persians 

TIRIDATES seized Armenia (238-250), but with the help of the 

III Romans Tiridates III ascended the throne. This 

250-330, ruler had been brought up in Rome, was of an 

& ST. GREGORY enlightened mind and well versed in the Western 

languages and literature, and properly understood 

the duties of a king. According to legend he was of Herculean strength. 

"His breath," wrote Agathangelus, "burst river-dikes and stopped the 

raging of waters." He frequently proved his valor and mettle as a soldier. 

At the beginning of his reign, however, he had the same feelings as his 

tutors in Rome regarding the Christians, who at that time despite the very 

wide spread of their religion were still considered as disturbers of the 

social order. A fervent worshiper of the gods, he was at first extremely 

(1) This assertion made by all the Armenian historians is not corroborated by 
the statements of the Greeks and Latins, with the exception of Eusebius. Several 
modern authors conclude that Armenia became Christian at the same time as the 
Roman Empire. 

— 124 — 

opposed to the new faith, and to put an end to Gregory's preaching and 
his daily increase of converts, he had the evangelist seized and kept him 
twelve or fourteen years in a dungeon of the citadel at Artaxata where he 
was most cruelly treated. 

Meanwhile, say the chroniclers, the king fell ill, and appealed not 
only to the most renowned physicians of the day but also to his ancestral 
deities. Receiving no help, he had Gregory brought out of prison, and 
was healed by him. Moved by gratitude and touched by the unshakable 
faith of the martyr, Tiridates accepted Christianity along with his whole 
court, and made his erstwhile prisoner his minister. 

Gregory, who was still only a monk, then 
CONVERSION OF proceeded to Caesarea in Cappadocia where the 
ARMENIA TO Exarch Leontius ordained him both priest and 

CHRISTIANITY bishop. He thereupon returned to Armenia, bap- 
tized the king, and began his official evangelization 
of the country. 

Armenia's conversion to Christianity was not without difficulties in the 
way, for the heathen priests were both enormously rich and very powerful. 
They had from time immemorial reaped profit from every fortunate cir- 
cumstance attending the kings of Armenia, and although their temples 
had often been ravaged by war, they owned huge treasures and vast lands 
on which the peasants, their serfs, were turned into their soldiers when 

Gregory, with Tiridates' support, converted peacefully many districts 
where the people were ready for the change. In others, however, the 
bishop accompanied by the chief satraps and a body of troops traveled 
over the country sacking the pagan sanctuaries, breaking their idols, and 
slaying without pity any priests offering armed opposition. According to 
Zenobius of Glak (1), resistance was extremely violent in the district of 
Taron among others, also in the territory of Palounik. In the large town 
of Kisane a regular battle occurred between the priests' army and that of 
Gregory. The victorious bishop "ordered the idol of Kisane to be thrown 
"down; It was made of brass and twelve cubits high. When those who re- 
"ceived the command entered into the temple, the ministers of the holy 
"place seeing them coming rushed at them and attacked them, crying, 
"Let us die rather than let Great Kisane be destroyed.' The soldiers sur- 

(1) Hist, du district de Daron. Transl. V LANGLOIS, p. 350. 

— 125 — 

"rounded the priests and killed six of them." After which "the soldiers 
"overturned the Gates of Death. Thereupon the demons raised their 
"voices, crying: 'Though you drive us hence, there will be no rest for 
"those who would dwell here.' It seems incredible! Like the city gates 
"through which pour hosts of soldiers, this place was the Demons' Gate, 
"their number was as great at Kisane as in the depths of the abyss." 
Unfortunately the prophecy of the devils of Kisane seems to have come 
true, for Armenia has never yet found rest. 

Although Gregory's campaign was intended to convert the people 
and overthrow paganism, yet the satraps were not disdainful of the 
riches piled up in the temples. 

Zenobius continues: "Next day a pagan priest was brought to the 
"prince of Siunia (1); they [the Christians] pressed him to tell where the 
"treasures were hidden and disclose the door leading to the underground 
"chamber. He refused and died on the gallows under torture. They 
"were consequently unable to discover the treasures." 

As regards the lands belonging to the pagan sanctuaries, the new 
churches were the beneficiaries. "After laying the foundation of the 
church and placing relics thereon, St. Gregory erected a wooden cross at 
its entrance, on the spot formerly occupied by the idol Kisane, and ap- 
pointed as church administrators Antony and Gronites. He made Epi- 
phanes the Superior of the monastery, and gave him forty-three monks, 
also granting him twelve villages to supply the monastery's needs." 

The Armenian writer goes on to enumerate the villages distributed 
to the new clergy; altogether they amount to 12,298 houses, and are able 
to furnish 5,470 horsemen and 3,807 infantry, a small array of over 9,000 
men. The chronicler adds: 

"All these villages had been from their inception affected to the Idols' 
"service. The princes confirmed the granting of them to the churches, 
"and St. Gregory arranged accordingly." 

"Afterwards", said Korioun (2), "it was decided to fight the bold and 
"insolent sect of the Borborides. [This sect made its appearance in the 
"2nd century and denied the last judgment.] Those who would not 
"yield to the word of truth were given over to terrible punishment, to 
"imprisonment, chains, and all kinds of torture. If these Godless men 
"then refused to turn to their own deliverance, they were burned, or else 

(1) Armenian noble belonging to the bishop's escort. 

(2) KORIOUN, Biogr. de Mesrob. Transl. LANGLOIS. Historiens de TArmenie, 
vol. II, p. 11. 

— 126 — 

"incarcerated or driven from the country, after being put to all manner 
of shame." 

The king helped Gregory to build the city 
FOUNDING OF of Etchmiadzin (i.e. "the place where the Only 

THE PATRIARCHAL Son descended") and ancient Vagharchapat 
SEE OF ETCH- became the holy city of the Armenians, the 

MIADZIN nation's intellectual center. An immense group 

of churches end cloisters built during the cen- 
turies, together with edifices in great number, the present-day residences 
of archbishops, bishops, archimandrites, priests, and monks, such is Etch- 
miadzin, the seat of the Armenian Catholicos. 159 patriarchs in succession 
have held office, from St. Gregory (A.D. 302-305) to Guevorg V (1912). 
This ecclesiastical dignity can only be compared in Christendom to the 
papacy, but whereas the successor of St. Peter only mixes incidentally 
with politics, the Catholicos of Armenia at Etchmiadzin has been forced 
by circumstances on many occasions to act as a ruler in behalf of his nation 
long deprived of political rights. The consequence has been that his office 
has become invested with very great powers. The seat of the Catholicos 
has not always, however, remained at Etchmiadzin; it was later trans- 
ferred to Dovin, to Ani, to Akhtamar, or to Sis, maintaining everywhere 
its great place in the moral and Intellectual life of the nation. 

Today the sees of Sis, Jerusalem, and Constantinople recognize, it 
is true, the primacy of the patriarch of Etchmiadzin, but actually they are 
autonomous (1). 

Having finished his work, Gregory entrusted the patriachate to his 
son Aristaces who had been his suffragan since the year 318 and had in 
that capacity been present in 325 at the famous Council of Nicaea, whence 
emanated the summaries of faith adopted by the Armenians. He then 
retired to the grotto of Mount Sepouh in Upper Armenia, and died not 
long after. 

The king looked on the conversion of Armenia as a political step. 
By giving the country a national religion, TIrldates liberated her from 

(1) The Catholicos of Etchmiadzin alone has the title of "Catholicos and Su- 
preme Patriarch of all the Armenians", being the head of the Armenian Church. 
The patriarch of Jerusalem is a local patriarch, while that of Sis is regional (for 
Cilicia). The patriarch of Constantinople is the civil and religious head of the 
Armenians of Constantinople and of all those in Turkey. 

Over a year ago (1916), the Turkish government abolished the office of Catho- 
licos at Sis and the patriarchate of Constantinople, and issued a decree naming the 
Patriarch of Jerusalem as Catholicos of all the Armenians in Turkey, with only a 
vicar at Constantinople. 

— 127 — 

foreign influence, for Rome according to native writers still remained 
heathen for some years, and Persia had restored the religion of Zoro- 
aster. It meant therefore asserting Armenian nationality and giving Ha'ik's 
people increased individual character that would foster their racial in- 
tegrity and thereby their national independence. 

Meanwhile Tiridates' conversion to Christianity, together with that 
of Constantine, caused the Persians anxiety for the future. To forestall 
the danger they foresaw in an alliance of Christian rulers against Ormuzd- 
worshiping Iran, their emissaries inveigled a large number of princes and 
high officials of Armenia into a plot for the restoration of paganism in the 
lands of Ararat. According to Agathangelus, Tiridates was murdered 
when out hunting, probably at the instigation of the Persians, but this 
assassination had no success in restoring the old worship, for the king's 
death was a cause for national mourning throughout the country. 

"The body of Tiridates," says the writer of this king's biography, 
''was transferred to Thortan, and placed in a silver-mounted coffin 
"adorned with precious stones, which was drawn by golden-harnessed 
"mules. Bodies of armed soldiers with standards escorted it on both sides, 
"while ahead of the coffin funeral songs were chanted, and incense was 
"burned . . . Behind the bier trumpets and harps played dirges to the 
"accompaniment of voices of weeping women . . ." 

The Sassanid government's aim in opposing the Christian religion was, 
as we see, political. Every time the Persians made a victorious entry into 
Armenia, their troops were accompanied by Mazdean priests commanded 
by their King of Kings to implant the Iranian religion in the country, 
lest if it remained Christian it should become the advance post of Roman 
power against Persia. Along with the Christians, the remnants of ad- 
herents to the ancestral heathen faith of Armenia were also included in 
the Mazdean persecution. 

"Ardashir (Artaxerxes I)," says Moses of Khoren, "widens the 
"temple functions, and orders the fire of Ormuzd to burn continually on 
"the altar of Pakaran. As for the statues erected at Armavir by Valarsace 
"(Vagharchak) to his ancestors, and to the sun and moon, which had been 
"transferred first to Pakaran and then to Ardashad, Ardashir demolishes 
"them. Our country is placed under tribute to him by decree, and his 
"authority imposed everywhere." (1) 

These attempts of the Ctesiphon court to bring back Armenia into 

(1) MOSES OF KHOREN, II, 77. Transl. LANGLOIS, I, 49. 

— 128 — 

the Persian sphere of influence by converting it to Mazdeism, went on 
as long as the Sassanid dynasty lasted. 

"At a fixed time, the sixth month," says Elisha Vartabed (2), "they 
"[the Persian satraps and magi] sought to enforce a royal order that in 
"all places under the dominion of the Great King (3) all church cere- 
"monies be abolished, the doors of temples of worship be closed and sealed, 
"the sacred ornaments be delivered to the treasury officers, and that all 
"psalm-singing be forbidden. The priests were to give no further in- 
"struction to the people in their homes, and the books of the true prophets 
"were no longer to be read to them. Men and women dedicated to Christ 
"and living in monasteries were to change their garb for that of laymen. 
"Also governors' wives were to be instructed in the doctrine of the Magi, 
"while the latter were to teach publicly the sons and daughters both of the 
"nobility and the people. The institution of holy matrimony received of 
"their fathers according to the tenets of Christianity was to be abolished, 
"and instead of having one wife only, each man should have several so 
"that the Armenian nation be increased; also that there be marriages of 
"fathers and daughters, brothers and sisters, mothers and sons, and grand- 
"fathers and grand-daughters. No animals were to be killed for food 
"without being first sacrificed, and no dough must be kneaded without 
"wearing the phantam (1). Manure must not be used for fuel. Beavers, 
"foxes, and hares must not be killed. All snakes, lizards, frogs, ants, 
"and vermin of every sort must be exterminated, while one's hands must 
"be washed in cow's urine. (2) 

Thus new-born Christianity 
in Armenia was threatened from 
its cradle both by Mazdeism and 
the old pagan beliefs that still 
smouldered. Faustus of Byzan- 
tium informs us in fact that more 
than a century after the Illumi- 
nator's death, the worshipers of 
the Ha'ikian gods attempted up- 
risings. One of the revolts took 
place during the patriarchate of 
Schahag I of Manazkert (373- 


(2) Transl LANGLOIS, Hist. Armen., vol. I, p. 99. 

(3) Yezdedjerd. 

(1) In Zend: peete-dane, a kind of veil used in religious ceremonies. 

(2) In order not to defile water. 

— 129 — 




377); but all such attempts were 

We are without any archae- 
ological structural remains con- 
nected with Armenia during the 
Sassanid period, but a few rare 
coins struck by the rulers of 
Iberia show that in those days 
Persian influence extended to the 
foot of the great Caucasian chain, 
and consequently to Iran's neigh- 
bor, Armenia. One of these 
drachmas minted in the Persian style, bears the monogram of the Eristhaw 
Gourgen (3) and by the fire-altar shown on the reverse of the coin we have 
proof that the Iberians hkewise were reached by Zoroastrian preaching. 
On another coin bearing in full the name of the Eristhaw Stephanos 1(1), 
the pyre is replaced by the Christian cross. 

"The recognition of Christianity by Tiridates 
THE ARMENIAN and the investiture of Gregory the Illuminator with 
CHURCH the title of Chief Bishop brought the Armenian 

Church into being without any intervention 
of the Greek Church such as later occurred in the Slavonic countries when 
Cyril and Methodius preached there. The founding of the Armenian 
Church was therefore a national undertaking, and the investiture given 
Gregory by the Metropolitan of Caesarea had no more significance than 
a mere act of ordination." (2) This Church, whose dogma at first was 
that of Rome and Byzantium, separated from Constantinople in the year 
491 on account of the Council of Chalcedon (482), for it refused to admit 
that there were in Jesus Christ a single person and a single nature. Thus 
there arose a separate church which Orthodox and Catholics alike call the 
Gregorian Church from the name of its founder, St. Gregory, but which 
the Armenians name: Hoi Yekeghetzi, or Armenian Church. This church 
has produced an abundant sacred literature. In 1166 the patriarch Nerses 
the Gracious set forth in his Outline of the Armenian Faith the ideas of 
Ills co-religionists regarding the nature cf Christ. 

(3) Contemporary with Hormisdas (579-589). 

(1) Contemporary with Chosroes H (591-628). 

(2) K. ASLAN, Etudes historiqites sur le Peuple armenien, 1909, p. 250. 

— 130 — 

The divergences between the Armenian and Roman Churches relate 
to questions of dogma. The Armenians do not accept the Procession of 
the Holy Ghost, nor do they believe in Purgatory. It is the dogma of 
Incarnation, however, or rather the belief of two natures and one person 
in Christ which makes the Catholics consider the Armenians as schis- 
matics, or at least as dissenters. Consequently this Church does not 
recognize the supremacy of the Pope, and like many other Eastern 
Christians, distinguishes between the essence and the existence of the 
Church. It admits the oneness of Christianity like that of its founder 
Jesus Christ, but maintains that the conditions of its existence vary ac- 
cording to the rites, discipline, and usages of each individual church. 

There is every reason to believe that it was to escape both from Papal 
authority and that of Constantinople that the Armenians entrenched them- 
selves in creeds that could only be discussed or even understood by the 
nation's intellectual elite. Christianity separated them from the Persians, 
and they did not wish to come under Latin or Greek domination. We shall 
see' later with what vigor her clergy and nobles rejected proposals for 
union with Rome or Constantinople when they were made. 

I have been compelled to ex- 
patiate somewhat on this subject 
and encroach on the centuries sub- 
sequent to St. Gregory's time, in 
order to show the position held by 
the Armenian Church in the Chris- 
tian world. The divergences sprang 
up by degrees following the Council 
of Chalcedon, and today the Ar- 
m.enian faith is definitely estab- 
lished as independent of all other 
Christian churches and as a national Church. 

Tiridates III had a very agitated reign. After two years on the 
throne (250-252), he was driven out by the Persians and for nine years 
(252-261), Sapor I (240-271) was in military occupation of Armenia. The 
Armenian king regained his throne (283-294), again lost it (294-298), 
and finally with Roman help reigned uninterruptedly for thirty-two years 

The Emperor Valerian's disgraceful capture (Valerian 253-260) had 
encouraged Sapor, who with Mesopotamia and Armenia at his mercy pro- 


131 — 


VI (252 


ceeded to ravage Cilicla, Syria, and Cappadocia, and to seize Antioch and 
Caesarea, but he deemed it wise to spare the Armenians 
and therefore did not deprive them of their liberties. 
Artavazd VI (252-261), of the Armenian royal house was 
put on the throne by the Persian army, while Sapor in 
person marched against Syria. The king of Persia was 
defeated at the siege of Edessa, and Ode- 
nath, king of Palmyra, compelled him to 
return to his dominions. Odenath had re- 
mained faithful to the Emperor Gallienus 
and been appointed king of Palmyra by 
the Romans. The Emperor granted him 
the title of Augustus, and made him his 
lieutenant in the East. With the help of 
the legions placed under him, this ruler 
restored Syria to the Romans, raised the 
siege of Edessa, and having conquered a 
part of Armenia, drove out the Persians along with their puppet-king 
Artavazd VI. 


Odenath was assassinated, however, at Emesa (226-267) and Queen 
Zenobia, less prudent than her husband, claimed in behalf of her son 
Vabalath the provinces he had conquered, including Syria, Arabia, Cilicia, 
Cappadocia, and also Armenia which remained under the rule of Palmyra 
for eleven years (261-272). 






Zenobia's ambitions aroused Rome's wrath, and 
Aurelian destroyed her capital city in the year 273, 
whereupon Armenia came again under Roman rule. 
Probus and Carus then restored the kingdom and in 
331-339 Chosroes II the Younger occupied the throne. 
He was succeeded by Tiran (340-350), Archak II (351- 
367), Pap (369-374), Varazdat (374-378), Archak III 
(378-389), Vagharchak (378-386) the rival of Archak 
III, and then Chosroes III (386-392 and 414-415). In 
this period Armenia, while keeping her kings, was di- 

vided (387) between the Persians and Romans. 

132 — 

Vramchapouh (Varahran-Sapor) was on the 
S"^ SAHAK I throne (392-414) when a highly important event 

AND S'*' MESROP took place, the invention of the Armenian alpha- 
bet, which gave a great impetus to the nation, 
increasing its self-consciousness and 
giving it a literature. Sahak I, called 
the Great, (387-428 and 432-439) 
who was then Catholicos of Ar- 
menia, had called to assist him as 
Co-adjutor, Vartabed (Doctor) 
Mesrop, an apostle, scholar, and 
man of letters who knew Greek, 
Persian, and Syriac, besides the 
speech of his fellow-countrymen. 
Sahak entrusted him with the task 
of composing a special alphabet for the Armenian language, so that the 
Scriptures might be translated therein. Hitherto only the Greek and Syriac 
versions had been used, and the necessity for the priests to know those two 
languages and translate them verbally hindered considerably their work 
of preaching and explaining Holy Writ. 





Mesrop utilizing a table of twenty-two 
letters suggested to him by a priest named Daniel, 
composed a thirty-six letter alphabet in which each 
sound of the Armenian language was represented. 
Later on, at the end of the 12th century, the gram- 
marians added two more characters, so that today there are thirty-eight 
letters. As is the case with Zend writing, no letter is accented, the differ- 
ent tone-values of the vowels being shown by different characters. Mes- 
rop had the Latin, Greek, Zend, and Indian alphabets to choose from, 
and did so but added special signs of his own composition while also 
changing somewhat those he borrowed. He thus created an alphabet 
adapted to Armenian pronunciation, and this step not only hindered the 
spread of the language but further separated the Armenian people from 
their neighbors both on the east and west, and strengthened their national 
individuality. Georgia also had its own alphabet which though it has 
some general resemblance to the Armenian is nevertheless altogether 
different. Moreover the two writings developed in opposite ways, the 
Georgian characters soon becoming less angular and more flowing, while 

— 133 — 

the Armenian remained square until the modern cursive was adopted. 

The inventor of the alphabet himself translated the book of Proverbs 
and the New Testament, and under his guidance the rest of the Scriptures 

'il''ri,ii' '♦■'•' ■' r 'r r' r ^ 


(from a photograph by K. J. Basmadjian) 

were written in Armenian, young men having been previously sent forth to 
Edessa, Caesarea, Antioch, Alexandria, and Constantinople, to seek out 
copies of the sacred writings and especially of the Septuagint version of the 
Bible, all of which the Persians had systematically destroyed throughout 
their empire. 

Though Armenian literary endeavors were first confined to religious 
writings, a start had nevertheless been made, and soon there arose a 
secular literature. 

This was a new dawn for Armenia. At the time that her religious 
freedom was violently threatened by Persian Mazdeism, king Vram- 
chapouh and the patriarch Sahak, both of them foresighted patriots, 
realized that unless Armenia segregated herself through intellectual de- 
velopment from her powerful neighbors, both her Christianity and her 
nationality would perish. The king and the patriarch in prompting the 
discovery of a national alphabet did more than any Maecenas, they saved 
their whole nation, and the beneficent results of their influence have been 
manifest down through the centuries to our day. These two men 
rank among the greatest figures of the Armenian people when one con- 
siders the consequences of their work. 

— 134 — 

Two rulers, Sapor or Chapouh (416-420) 

LAST ARSACID and Artashes IV (423-429) are last on the list 

KINGS OF ARMENIA of the Arsacid dynasty of Armenia. Thereafter, 

416-429 in the part of the country under Sassanid rule, 

the kings were replaced by Marzpans or Persian 

governors, with Armenians occasionally among them. Elsewhere, the 

provinces under Greek rule were governed in turn by Persians, Armenians, 

or Byzantines, appointed by the Basileus. In 652 

THE MARZPANS ihe succession of Marzpans comes to an end, as 

does that of the Roman prefects in 653. In those 

years the whole of Armenia fell into the hands of the Moslems, upon the 

crushing defeats inflicted at Kerbalah and Nehavend on the army of 

Yezdedjerd IV, the last of the Sassanid rulers. 

Nevertheless this era of Marzpans and Byzantine governors lasting 
two centuries was an honorable one for Armenia, even though the country 
was no longer self-governed and retained only its language and religion 
as outward signs of nationality. The Sassanid rulers, who imagined they 
could overcome the Armenians by converting them to Mazdeism, ordered 
their governors to stamp out Christianity in their respective provinces, 
and started persecutions at the same time in Persia proper. Yezdedjerd 
II (440-457), then on the throne of Iran, issued a decree commanding all 
Christians in his dominions to embrace the Mazdean religion. This was 
the signal for a violent revolt in Armenia; the Persians 
VARDAN and their Magi were massacred, the fire temples de- 

MAMIKONIAN stroyed, and the people flew to arms under Vardan 
Maraikonian. This brave prince and his small army, 
however, were overwhelmed near the city of Avara'ir (455) in Media 
Minor, Vardan being killed in combat along with thousands of his men. 
Vardan Mamikonian through his mother was the grandson of the 
Patriarch Sahak and one of the most influential noblemen of Armenia, 
his authority in the nation being enhanced by the esteem and trust in which 
he was held by the people. Being in command of the Armenian troops 
and raised to the rank of Stratelat or general by Emperor Theodosius II, 
he enjoyed considerable repute both at the Persian court and that of Con- 
stantinople. He was one of the national delegates who went to plead with 
Yezdedjerd to rescind his decree again?t Christianity. His efforts were in 
vain, however, and only after exhausting all peaceable means did he 
resort to arms. Forsaken and betrayed, even by one of his own liegemen, 
Vassak SunI, he was able to raise only a small force. Yet with this hand- 

— 135 — 

ful of men he had the courage to face the Persian cohorts. His death was 
a severe loss for Armenia, but the battle of Aravair saved the nation, for 
the Iranians never expecting such stout resistance had to stop to make good 
their losses. Meanwhile grave danger for Persia arose on her eastern 
borders, and her armies had to rush to the Oxus plains to stop the Huns. 
Armenia was delivered from the Magi for a while. The memory of 
Vardan's supreme sacrifice and that of his fellow-soldiers has been so 
ardently cherished that to the present time the Armenian Church cele- 
brates the anniversary of the battle of Aravair and pays tribute to the 
heroes who fell there. 

Under king Peroses (458-488) the persecutions 
VARAN were resumed. Vahan Mamikonian, Vardan's neph- 

MAMIKONIAN ew, took command of the Armenian troops, called 
on the Iberians to help the Christian cause, and car- 
ried on the fight. He met with fluctuating success, until Vologeses (488-491), 
succeeding Peroses who was killed fighting the Hephtalites, deemed it 
wiser to tolerate Christianity in his dominions and especially in Armenia 
where the Magi for nearly half a century had kept up a war that had 
cost the Persian kingdom dear. Thus again the bravery of the Mami- 
konians had delivered the nation. From then on, till the Arabian in- 
vasion, Armenia had self-government under the supreme supervision of the 
Persian governor, and enjoyed a period of prosperity. 

— 136 — 


The Arab Conquest. — Armenia a Province of the 
Empire of the Caliphs. 

Ever since the Armenians conquered the Ararat country, life had 
been very hard and uncertain for them the greater part of the time. 
Nevertheless, although constantly obliged to struggle to maintain their 
independence, they had been for only brief periods in a state of complete 


S-^" a TsgritsJii 


subjugation, for both Persians and Romans had deemed it wiser to leave 
them practically free under governors who very often were chosen from 
among their own princes. Consequently the Armenians were able to look 

137 — 

on themselves as allies in turn of the Emperor or of the "King of Kings", 
rather than the subjects of either. But with the entry of the Arabs into 
the political scene, Armenia's lot takes on a darker hue. The Moslems 
henceforward considered the Christians of the countries which they con- 
quered as their slaves, and for over a thousand years thereafter used 
every means and stopped at no manner of persecution to win them over 
to Islam, while the Armenians clung all the more steadfastly to their re- 
ligion as the last bulwark of their nationality. 

Enslaved by the Arabs, they nevertheless had one splendid burst 
of freedom towards the end of the 9th century, which lasted nearly two 
hundred years. From 885 to 1064, they took advantage of the confusion 
caused by the arrival of the Turks and became their own masters in at 
least a part of their ancestral domain. The very events, however, which 
ensured their temporary 
freedom proved their even- 
tual ruin, for having thrown 
off the Arab yoke, they 
were to succumb to that of 
the Turks and suffer there- 
under down to modern 
times. Armenia's martyr- 
dom began actually in A.D. 
645, when the standard of 
the Prophet appeared in 
the region of Van. 

Mahomet's fanatical Arabian tribes spread like a flood over western 
Asia. They vanquished Yezdedjerd IV on the plains of Kerbalah, and at 
Nehavend consummated the ruin of the Sassanid monarchy exhausted 
both by the attacks of Emperor Heraclius and the disorder that reigned 
at the Persian court. The Emirs continued their conquests towards India, 
and the whole East was subdued. On the north and west, however, they 
found serious obstacles in their way. The Eastern Roman Empire with its 
tremendous influence and great cultural advantages, although much absorb- 
ed on the Danube and in Thrace by the invading barbarians from the 
north, nevertheless offered the Mahometan invaders resistance that was 
destined to hold out for centuries. Though in possession of Syria, the Mos- 
lem chieftains did not yet dare to attack Asia Minor and march on Con- 
stantinople. The eastern provinces of the Empire being more vulnerable, 
they overran Armenia. 


138 — 

About 639, eighteen thousand Arabs led by 
ARAB CONQUEST Abd-er-Rahman invaded the Taron district and 
A.D. 639 Lake Van region from Assyria, and put the coun- 

try to fire and sword. The Armenians had never 
before met in battle these penniless and ill-clad warriors, of such un- 
equalled daring and fired with a fanaticism hitherto unknown among the 
older nations. The Persians and Romans found it to their advantage to 
show the Armenians some Httle consideration, for in war they were alter- 
nately their subjects or their allies, but the sons of the desert knew no 
restraints with regard to these infidels sharing the same religion and mode 
of life as their enemies the Greeks. 

Bishop Sebeos (1), the only Armenian historian to give us any ac- 
count of the Arab conquests which he witnessed, bitterly laments his coun- 
try's sorrowful fate. On January 6th, 642, the Arabs took the city of Tovin 
by storm, slaughtered twelve thousand of its inhabitants and carried away 
thirty-five thousand into slavery. 

"Who could tell," wrote the bishop, "all the horrors of the Ishmaelite 
"invasion setting sea and earth ablaze? The blessed prophet Daniel 
"foresaw and prophesied these very plagues ... the fourth beast dreadful 
"and terrible, Its teeth of Iron and Its nails of brass, which devoured, 
"brake In pieces, and stamped with Its feet . . . This beast rising from the 
"south, the Ishmaelite kingdom . . . shall be mightier than all kingdoms and 
"shall devour the whole earth. . . 

"The following year [643], the Ish- 
"maellte army entered Atrpatakan (Azer- 
"baidjan) and headed in three directions: 
"one division towards Ararat, another Into 
"the land of the Sephhakan-Gund and the 
"third into the country of the Aluans. Those 
"who invaded the Sephhakan-Gund over- 
^^^CONSTA™^n^^^ "^an that territory, put the people to the 

"sword, and took booty and prisoners.^ 
"They then all marched on Erewan [Erivan] and attacked the fortress, 
"but unsuccessfully." Constans II (641-668), who was Emperor at Con- 
stantinople at the time. Indeed sent some troops to Armenia, but they 
arrived in Irregular fashion and the Imperial prefect, Sembat, feeling him- 
self too weak to withstand the Moslem onslaught, forsook the Greek 

( 1 ) Hr<?foire cTH'rnclUis. Transl. Fr. MACLER, Paris, 1904. 

— 139 — 

cause and submitted and paid tribute to the Caliph Omar. The latter 
was shortly thereafter succeeded by Othman I (Nov. 9, 644.) 

"The (Arab) division in the Ararat region invaded the 
A.D. 644 "territory of the Taians, the Georgians, and the Aluans, 
"plundering and taking prisoners. They then proceeded to 
"Nakhtchawan . . . but failed to capture the city. They took, however, 
"the city of Khram, killed the defenders and carried away captive the 
"women and children." 

Nevertheless, the Byzantine court saw the great danger to the Em- 
pire if the Arabs were allowed to plant themselves on the Erzerum pla- 
teau and threaten the Pontine provinces. Incensed against the Armenians, 
Constans II determined to regain that province by force of arms, and to 
compel its Inhabitants to embrace the Orthodox religion, hoping thus to 
have them more closely on his side. He met with no success as regards 
their religion, but the new prefect Hamazasp who was finding the tribute 
demanded by the Moslems too heavy, came over to the Emperor. In 
reprisal the Caliph Othman had 1,775 Armenian hostages slaughtered and 
was about to take the field against the rebels 
when he was murdered by his soldiers. His 
second successor, Mohawlah, the first of 
the Bagdad Caliphs, followed up his in- 
tentions and devastated Armenia, dispos- 
sessing Justin II. The latter from his pal- 
ace summoned the unhappy inhabitants to 
come back to their allegiance to him. The 
Armenians replied (1): "How often, under 
"the government of the Greeks we have had in our worst calamities only 
"the barest assistance! Frequently, on the contrary, our obedience 
"has been requited only with Insults. To swear fealty to you is but to 
"court ruin and death. Leave us therefore under our present masters and 
"under their protection." 

This prudent reply from a people oppressed in turn by both Byzan- 
tines and Arabs only exasperated the Basileus. He sent a Greek army 


(1) JOHN VI, Catholicos, chap. XIII. 

— 140 


into Armenia, ravaged the country, car- 
ried off what little wealth the Moslems 
had overlooked, and capturing eight thou- 
sand families sent them to distant lands 
to be sold into slavery. 

Meanwhile the Arabs thinking the 
Armenians were seeking to evade their 
authority, again overran the Ararat re- 
gion spreading death and desolation in 
their wake. They razed a number of 
cities, destroyed the fortress of Sevan, enslaving its defenders. At the 
same time the new emperor, Justinian II, stubbornly maintaining the 
Greek grievance of the Armenians' rejection of the Orthodox creed, caused 
the Patrician Leontius to devastate Upper Armenia, Iberia, and Albania, 
countries that had also been obliged to submit to the power of the Caliphs. 
Thus the Armenians not only had to suffer persecution from the Moslems 
because they were Christians, but also from the Greeks because of their 
unpardonable adherence to their national mode of worship. 

The Byzantine court at this period displayed the most savage re- 
ligious intolerance; fierce hatred inflamed the Greeks against those peoples 
whose creeds did not coincide with theirs, and also spread armed strife 
among themselves. These passions and the resulting futile wrangling? 
were weakening the Empire, but the Emperors and the people alike were 
infatuated with the subtleties of casuistry, even while dangerous enemies 
were bearing down on every frontier. 

Greek domination in Armenia, more- 
over, did not last long. The Basileus after 
five years of hateful oppression withdrew 
his legions, and the Ommiad Caliph Abd- 
el-Melek once more invaded the country. 
He occupied Tovin and drove out the Ro- 
man prefect, appointing as provincial gov- 
ernor Abd-Allah, a cruel ruler who sent the 
Armenian notables as prisoners to Damas- 
cus. The Catholicos Isaac and Prince Sembat were among the captives, 
but the latter succeeded in making his escape, and was in A.D. 695 again 
placed over Armenia by the Emperor Leontius who had usurped the Im- 
perial throne. 


— 141 

In 702, the Emir Mohammed-ben-Okba who 
MOHAMMED- had been named governor of Mesopotamia by Abd- 
BEN-AKBA, 702 el-Melek was driven out by the legions. Taking ad- 
vantage, however, of the departure of the Greek 
army, he regained power and proceeded to establish it further by a reign 
of terror and nameless cruelties. At Nakhitchevan he shut up the principal 
Armenians in the church and set fire to the building, burning them alive. 
And all the while Byzantium was arguing over questions of dogma with 
the Armenian clergy! Church synods were being convened to discuss 
whether or not water should be added to the wine in the celebration of 
the Mass, and whether there should be added to the Sanctus the words: 
qui CTUcifixus es. 

Neither was religion the sole concern of the Catholicos. The high 
clergy went in for politics, and he, just as much carried away as his Byzan- 
tine opponents, intruded the spiritual into temporal matters. We see 
later on Catholicos John VII (1) praising the Patriarch Elias for having 
denounced to Caliph Abd-el-Melek the queen of the Aghouans and their 
patriarch Nerses Bakour, as being friends of the Greek emperors and 
enemies of the Caliphs. He congratulates Elias in having them put in 
chains on the grounds of their attachment tc the Council of Chalcedon! 
It is true that the Armenian people clung to their religious beliefs and 
could not see beyond them, but their bishops seized every opportunity to 
fight their opponents and improve their own position with the Moslem 

The struggle between the Greeks and the Arabs had from the very 
beginning assumed the religious character which has ever been the main 
strength of the Mahometans. For centuries and centuries Caliphs and 
Sultans derived their power therefrom. The fanaticism of these unciv- 
ilized men of the desert was accompanied by boundless pride and pro- 
found contempt for all who did not share their beliefs. Bishop Sebeos 
in his history of Heraclius has given us the Armenian translation of a 
letter which the "King of the Ishmaelites" had the monstrous audacity 
to write to the "Emperor of the Greeks." 

(I) Trand. SAINT-MARTIN, Aap. XIII, p. 88. 

— 142 — 

"If you desire to live in peace," he wrote, "give up your vain religion 
"in which you have been reared from childhood. Deny this Jesus and be 
"converted to the great God whom I serve, the God of our father Abra- 
"ham. Disband your big armies and send them back home, and I will 
"make you a great chief in these lands. I will send my Osticans (gover- 
"nors) into your City; I will gather all its treasures and divide them into 
"four parts, three for myself and one for you. I will also assign troops 
"to you, as many as you wish, and will levy on you such tribute as you 
"can pay. Otherwise, how shall this Jesus whom you call Christ, who 
"could not save himself from the Jews, ever be able to save you from my 

The old Roman civilization was thus insulted by a barbarian, an ig- 
norant fanatic, full of pride and greed, who in those few lines expressed 
the aims of his fellow-religionists. 

"The Emperor took the letter," continues Sebeos, "and entered into 
"the house of God, where he fell on his face and cried: 'Look, O Lord, 
"upon the dishonor which these Ishmaelites cast on Thee. Have com- 
"passion on us, Lord, as we hope in Thee. Shame their faces, O God, 
"that they may seek Thy name. May everlasting shame be upon them, 
"and may they perish in infamy, so that they may know that Thy name 
"is The Lord, and that Thou alone rulest over all the earth!" He re- 
moved his crown, laid off his purple robe, and put on sackcloth; sitting in 
ashes, he commanded a public fast throughout Constantinople. 

The Emperor's attitude was as ingenuous as that of the Moslem, but 
it was anything but criminal. This passage from the Armenian historian's 
pen shows how warped on both sides were the concerns of the age. 
Temporal interests indeed remained the same, but they were hidden be- 
hind religious externals over which the masses became fanatical. National 
honor no longer stirred men's hearts in Constantinople, and something 
else must arouse them. Even so the Arabs opened an era of fanaticism 
and dug the fathomless cleavage between the two worlds, of Christian 
ideals and Moslem aggression. 

There were nevertheless sometimes up- 

ASHOT, right men among the Arabs. One such was 

GOVERNOR, A.D. 744 Merwan, who about 744 softened conditions 

for the Armenians, and who on becoming 

— 143 — 

(Taken from inside the town) 

Caliph appointed the Bagratid Ashot as governor of the country. His 
successors did not, however, follow his example; they loaded the Chris- 
tians of their Empire with crushing taxes, which led to a revolt of the 
Armenians. Ashot, although one of themselves, was thrown into prison 
by his fellow-Armenians, and there blinded. This revolt was quelled in 

The Arab governors Soleiman (766), Bekir (769), and Hassan 
(778) treated the Armenians with incredible harshness and gave the 
inhabitants over to the cruelties of the soldiery. A fresh revolt arose 
from these oppressions. Mouschegh the Mamikonian gathered the in- 
surgents around him, and with five thousand men attacked Hassan's 
troops that were then ravaging the Taron district, and slaughtered them. 
Under the weight of numbers, however, he fell in combat, and his son 
Ashot carrying on his father's work drove the Arabs from several provinces, 
and, on the banks of the Arpa-tcha'i in the district of Schirak, fortified 
the city of Ani that was soon to become the capital of Armenia and the 
residence of the patriarchs. 

The site of Ani, according to Armenian chronicles, 
ANI, had been inhabited from very ancient times, and its 

CAPITAL OF position and remarkable natural defenses made it 
ARMENIA conspicuously advantageous. 

The Ani plateau surrounded by high cliffs Is 
bounded on the south and east by the river Arpa-tchai, a swift stream 
coming down from the lake region of the Lesser Caucasus, from the 

144 — 

mountains whose northern flanks overlook the city of Alexandropol. 
On the west another deep valley, that of the Aladja-tchai (1), bounded 
the capital city which on the southern side came to an abrupt end by a 
sharp mountain buttress between the Arpa-tchai and its tributary, the 
Aladja-tchai. Two gorges, whose waters flowed down into each of these 
two streams, separated the promontory from the neighboring massif, but 
these two natural ditches were separated at the head of their respective 
waters by a strip of land about 600 yards wide. There the Armenians 
concentrated every means of defense, building a double wall with towers 
commanded by a huge keep overlooking the chief gate of the city. A 
smaller enclosure was built skirting the edge of the cliff's, while upon a 
hill at the southern end of this great spur stood the citadel. 

The city was about 185 acres in extent. 

We do not know of what ancient Ani consisted, how big it was, or 
whether the city covered the whole plateau. Possibly it comprised only 
the southern point commanded by the hill of the citadel, and traces of walls 
and gates still to be seen in the promontory's narrowest part strengthen 
this supposition. But it is quite certain that the northern ramparts pro- 
tecting the town were commenced under king Ashot as soon as he had 
chosen the Ani site as a refuge for his court, because this portion of the 
enclosure was the most vulnerable, in fact the only one whereby the 
enemy could attempt an entrance. Sembat II (977-990) finished building 
these walls. 

We have in Europe a good number of towns still surrounded by their 
medieval fortifications, e.g. Avignon, Aiguesmortes, Carcassonne, in south- 
ern France alone, while ruins of this kind are also numerous in the East. 
Trebizond still has its ramparts built by the Comneni. Military remains 
are all that is left of Antioch, and on the mountain overlooking Tiflis are 
to be seen the ruins of the Acropolis of the Georgians. No site, however, 
Is comparable to that of Ani in the deep impression this dead city makes 
on the traveler. Lost in the middle of a vast solitude, it bears yet the 
deep wounds it received at its hour of destruction. 

(1) Dzaghkotza-Tsor, the valley of the gardens. 

— 145 — 


Ani, under the Bagratids, was a large, fine city, with many 
churches, palaces, and splendid walls built of multicolored volcanic stone 
often as light as pumice-stone. The cathedral, and the shrines of the 

— 146 — 

apostles, of St. Stephen, of St. Gregory the Illuminator, and of the Re- 
demption, were the chief religious edifices, but there were an untold num- 
ber of chapels, so much so that the citizens were accustomed to swear by 
the Thousand and One Churches of Ani. The ruins of these structures 
still stand, whereas all private dweUings have disappeared with the city 
debris. No streets, squares, or market places are traceable today, brush- 
wood and brambles cover them all. 

This city, whose ruins the traveler visits in these days with deep 
feelings, was not the work of Ashot alone, but of all the Bagratid rulers 
who took pleasure in improving their capital, and also of the Armenians 
of the whole region who gave liberally to it for a couple of centuries 
(885-1077). Ani personified Armenia that had been so long through 
deep waters. Former generations had seen Artaxata, Tigranocerta, Dovin, 
and a number of other flourishing Armenian cities, but these capitals 
had all fallen one after another, vanishing with only dim memories in 
their place. By raising Ani to the rank of capital city, Ashot gave the 
Armenians a metropolis, a center, that seemed then destined to remain 
forever. Within these walls he brought both temporal power and 
spiritual authority together. Ani became the heart of Armenia. 

The great Harun-al-Raschid who had just taken up his abode in 
the palace of Bagdad as Commander of the Faithful, was more humane 
than his predecessors. The Arab conquests had become well established, 
and the court of the Caliphs, emerging gradually from the uncouth manners 
of the earlier soldiers of Islam, had become less harsh and more urbane. 
Unbounded luxury surrounded Omar's successors and encouraged them 
to leniency. 

The Caliph, while keeping Armenia under his authority, 
786-818 and maintaining his Arab governors in the Ararat country, 
ordered his viceroys Yezid [1 (,786-788) and Kouzima (798- 
818) to treat the Armenians with less severity. These governors how- 
ever, did not relax their cruelty. As Moslem fanatics, they had only 
hatred and contempt for the Christian peoples at the mercy of their 
whims, and they did not stop at the most wicked deeds in shedding blcxxi 
and satisfying their greed. In the province of Bagrevand, Yezid's rep- 
resentative, for want of any other pretext for the indulgence of his cruel 
desires, had one of his own slaves strangled and thrown into a gorge near 
Etchmladzin. Then he proceeded to accuse the monks of the crime, to 
plunder their shrines, and slay forty-two priests. 

— 147 — 

Fortunately all the Arab governors were not barbarians and the 
Armenians in their chronicles praise the kindness of some of them, 
notably that of Haul (818-835) who was sent to Armenia by Caliph 
Al-Mamoun. But there existed terrible rivalries among the Arabs them- 
selves, and a Moslem named Sevada having hatched a plot against Haul, 
the Armenians made the mistake of espcmsing the cause of the rival. 
They were punished, for Sevada's small arrny was wiped out by the gov- 
ernor of Armenia. Later on, during the revolt of a Persian named 
Baban or Babek, Bagarat, an Armenian whom Caliph Motassem had 
placed over the Ararat region, assisted the Arabs in putting down the 

Despite this act of loyalty. Caliph Motawakkel appointed a Moslem, 
Abou-Seth, in Bagarat's stead, followed by the former's son Youssouf, 
whose oppressions caused the Armenians again to rebel. This was a 
fresh excuse for putting Armenia to fire and sword. The nobility were 
wiped out, the people enslaved, towns, villages, churches all disappeared 
in flames, while any Armenians refusing to embrace Islam were pitilessly 

Finally, after a series of Arab governors all more fanatical, greedy, 
and cruel the one than the other. Caliph Motawakkel-Billah realizing 
that his empire would never have Armenia's obe- 
ASHOT, PRINCE dlence unless a fair amount of self-government 
OF PRINCES were restored to her, appointed the Bagratid 

859 prince Ashot as governor of his own country and 

gave him the title of "Prince of princes." (859). 
The new viceroy did not disappoint either his subjects or the 
Caliphs. He proved loyal to his overlords, restored the country, and 
organized the army of which he made his brother Abas commander-in- 

"Armenia was beginning to prosper under Ashot's rule, when lahab, 
"the son of Sevada, an Arab related to the Bagratids, tried, as did his 
"father before him, to supplant the governor. But the Commander-in- 
-chief Abas with a smaller number of troops crushed the rebel forces on 
"the banks of the Araxes. The battle-field was named the Field of the 
"Forty, because according to Armenian historians, forty thousand men 
"overcame eighty thousand who fought for lahab. 

"Delivered from his rival, Ashot devoted his whole energy to the 
"material and moral welfare of his people. He had new townships built, 

— 148 — 

"to which he attracted many foreigners. Agriculture was encouraged, and 
"trade assisted by new roads. (1)" 

Tired of fighting an energetic people for the possession of a province 
claimed by the Greek emperors, and already concerned about movements 
of tribes takmg place on the eastern and northern borders of their empire, 
the Caliphs gradually came round to the plan of creating south of the Cau- 
casus a state they could use as a shield against attacks from the Russian 
plains, and of thus putting an end to their quarrels with the Byzantine 
court. In Constantinople, too, Armenia was looked on as lost to the 
Empire, and it was thought better to keep the legions for the defense of 
Asia Minor against the ambitious Saracens. Possession of Armenia now 
that Syria and Mesopotamia were gone had no longer the importance it 
had when the enemies of Rome were chiefly in Persia. The Emperors and 
Caliphs undoubtedly came to an agreement, for both courts at the same 
time granted the title of king to Ashot the Bagratid. Mohammed-Billah 
sent from Bagdad, Ostican (Governor) Emir Ysa who, in the name of the 
Caliph his master, came to Ani and solemnly recognized Ashot, delivering 
to him the crown and royal vestments, whilst the Greek emperor Basil, 
who was himself an Armenian, also sent the new king the insignia ot 

After untold misfortunes Ar- 
menia, owing to what was happen- 
ing in the Eastern political world, 
regained her freedom at last. This 
revival, due outwardly to the 
mutual antagonism of the two great 
empires of the time, was also a 
result of the Armenian people's own 
energy, their soldierly virtues, and 
their unconquerable fidelity to 
Christianity, for although so often 

overwhelmed by sheer force and numbers, the nation never once capitu- 

After having conquered and ravaged Armenia, the Arabs had entered 
the valley of the river Kura and occupied Tiflis, but their forward march 
was stopped on the north by the Great Caucasus and on the west by the 


(1) Fr. TOURNEBISE, op. cit., p. 105. 
— 149 — 

Suram heights. Taiq, Gougarq, and the Phasis river basin remained in 
Byzantine hands. It was the same with the north of Lesser Armenia 
and with Lazica where lofty mountain chains protected Trebizond and 
the Greek possessions along the Black Sea coast. The capital of Georgia 
became consequently the seat of the Caliph's government in the Armenian 
province. The harsh treatment of the conquerors caused mass conver- 
sions to Islam, the Armenian and Georgian princes setting the example 
so as to retain their lands. Except in the mountains and inaccessible 
valleys Christianity disappeared almost everywhere throughout Trans- 
caucasia; churches and convents were in ruins and forsaken, while the 
minarets of mosques were soon seen in all cities and towns. 

Nevertheless those Armenians and Caucasians who had fled before 
the invaders had withdrawn into the natural strongholds and the mount- 
ains adjacent to the river 
Rion. There they remained 
in uninterrupted connec- 
tion with Constantinople, 
and prepared to counter- 
attack against their coun- 
try's oppressors, while at 
the same time keeping 
their religious freedom. 
Their attacks against the 
Arabs were unceasing and 
they sometimes carried the 
day, but the power of the 
Caliphs was such that des- 
pite all their efforts the Christians had to await the weakening of the great 
Moslem empire before they could recover their southern and eastern 

Going through the mountain regions extending north of the upper 
Araxes towards Ispir, Kars or Artvin, the traveler every now and then 
comes across the castles of the Armenian nobles perched like eagle's nests 
on inaccessible heights, generally fortified on one side only, with sheer 
cliffs below all the other walls. Thither at the first warning the peasants 
of the neighboring valleys fled for refuge, taking with them their food 
supplies and weapons, also their flocks; none but goat-paths led to these 
retreats, which were capable of months, even years, of resistance against 


150 — 

whole armies; and while there echoed :n the plain the call of the mullahs 
to the prayer of the Prophet, churchbells hidden in the clouds rang out 
the praises of Christ. A strange life, indeed, full of uncertainties, mingled 
hopes and despair, terror and renewals of courage, and above all, de- 
termination not to die, not to deny the faith of their fathers. 

After the wars of Heraclius, the Greeks had established Byzantine 
rule throughout Transcaucasia. The money of Constantinople then 
circulated in those regions along with the drachmas of the Sassanids, 
large and very thin silver discs with the head of the King of Kings and the 
Mazdean pyre. 

The Caliphs' governors occupying Tiflis after A.D. 646 and main- 
taining a strong Arab garrison there, exercised their authority over all 
the surrounding districts, but until 704 (year 85 of the Hegira) Tiflis had 
no Moslem mint. In that year Abd-el-Melek had dirhems struck, and 
money continued to be minted without interruption until A.D. 923, or 
311 of the Hegira. At this period there was no national coining of money 
either in Armenia or Georgia, or in the Aghouank country. 

From an economic standpoint, the Arab conquests greatly confused 
the general situation in the East, but they did give a new scope to trade. 
Formerly the Roman emperors were almost alone in the minting of gold 
coins, the Eastern rulers only issuing them in very small amounts. The 
Arabs put out large quantities of dinars and so compelled Byzantium to 
increase the fineness and weight of its specie. Moreover, because of tho 
vast extent of their empire, the Moslems were able to extend their trading 
connections; sea-lanes were opened between the Persian Gulf, the Red 
Sea and the coasts of India and Africa, of the Malay Archipelago, and 
China. The Greeks became in a degree dependent on their rivals. The 
overland routes, interrupted in the north by the thronging tribes of Scythia, 
shifted in the direction of Iran, Armenia, and Mesopotamia, the routes 
formerly known to the Phoenicians and still followed by the Semitic Mos- 
lems for gaining access to Tibet, central China, and India. 

After they had conquered the north of Western Asia, the Arabs made 
few settlements in those regions, so different in climate and natural fea- 
tures from their own homeland. In Persia, in Transcaucasia, in Armenia, 
and in the parts of Asia Minor that fell under Moslem rule, the old 
inhabitants remained in possession of the land but under the yoke of the 
Arabs, who retained in their hands both the government and the collection 
of taxes. 

The tremendous extent of their empire obliged the Arabs, however, 

— 151 — 

to scatter their strength. They had invaded all the African coast of the 
Mediterranean, and also Spain, and had carried their arms to the borders 
of India. They were about to conquer Europe, when they were stopped 
in the year 732 at Poitiers. The weakening of the Armenian garrisons 
due to these distant campaigns gave an opportunity for the native princes 
of that country, from the middle of the 9th century onward, to try to 
bring about a change, and their efforts succeeded in 885. Moreover, 
the fear engendered by the Moslem invasion of southern France was to 
result two centuries later in the great undertaking of the Crusades. 

The withdrawal of the Arab army from the Caucasus and Armenia 
was the signal for the mountain-dwellers to come down from their retreats 
and recover the lands of their fathers. The Caucasians and Armenians 
crossed the frontiers of the Caliph's empire, drove out his remaining troops, 
and with the whole land in revolt founded a number of small kingdoms. 
Byzantium encouraged these uprisings, and even helped with soldiers 
and money, thinking that it would be easy to regain the allegiance of the 
principalities, the rulers of which would not agree together and would 
each in turn yield obeisance to the Imperial City. At Constantinople there 
was no thought that the Moslem power would last; it was not realized 
how vastly the political and military organization of the Arabs differed 
from that of the various uncivilized races that the Roman world had 
fought for centuries, the hordes even then pressing along the Danube 

~ 152 - 


Dynasty of the Bagratids (1) 

While dealing with Armenia's beginnings, we saw how the historians 
of the country, who mostly belonged to the clergy, endeavored to link 
the origin of their nation with Biblical tradition, and how they twisted the 
old legends to connect the Hebrews with the descendants of Haik. This 

propensity related not only to matters of historical fact, but to the gene- 
alogies of their ruling families. 

According to the native chroniclers, the family 
ORIGIN OF THE of the Bagratids was of Jewish extraction. They 
BAGRATIDS claim that the founder of their house, Sembat, was 

brought captive by King Nebuchadnezzar from 
Judaea to Armenia and that five centuries later, Vagharchak, the first 
of the Arsacid kings of Armenia, gave to Bagarat (Pakarat), a descendant 
of Sembat, the title of "Asped" or Cavalry Commander. Vagharchak 
supplemented this dignity with that of "Thagatir" which gave the family 
the honor of crowning the king upon his accession. 

This promotion of the Bagratids to the highest State functions hardly 
tallies with statements by the historians regarding their extraction. Bag- 
arat would seem rather to have been a high nobleman of Armenian stock, 
perhaps descended from one of Haik's captains who with him led the 
nation to the land of Ararat. Vagharchak would certainly not have chosen 
a foreign prince for the honor of crowning the kings of Armenia, and 
their own nobles, moreover, so sensitive on this subject, would have 
claimed this signal distinction for the oldest and noblest of the families 
descended from Haik and his companions. In Armenia, as in Georgia 
and throughout the East, the nobility were too much Inclined to give first 
consideration to their family pride to allow any such slight. 

(1) Eastern Armenian pronunciation: Bagratid; western: Pagratid. 

— 153 — 

Besides, even before the Christian era, the Bagratids were lords of 
Sber in the district of Ispir on the upper Jorokh, and we can presume that 
they held this domain from their ancestors. In time their possessions grew 
both by marriage with neighboring princely families and by force of arms. 
The high Jorokh valley, sheltered by mountains hard to reach, had re- 
mained untouched by reverses of fortune, and its rulers had been able 
to expand their power without arousing cupidity. By degrees the Bagra- 
tids had acquired vast lands in the mountain massif of the Lesser Cau- 
casus towards the Araxes and had even pushed into the Ararat country. 
They owned very large domains in Gougarq and Turuberan. Dariums 
(Bayazid), Bagaran, Schirakavan, Ani (1), Kars, and Artvin belonged to 
them, and further south they also possessed Mouch. One of them married 
the heiress of the kingdom of Georgia, over v/hich his posterity continued 
to reign. During all the Middle Ages until the end of the 18th century, 
Karthli was ruled by princes of this family. Some of them, moreover, 
left highly respected names in this part of Asia. We shall later have 
occasion to speak of the Bagratid dynasty in connection with the Armen- 
ians outside of Armenia. They were consequently very high noblemen, 
and undoubtedly their fortune and family prestige were the reasons for 
the patriarch George (870-888) and the other nobles asking both Byzan- 
tium and Bagdad that the crown of Armenia should be given to Ashot 
the Bagratid. 

ASHOT I The selection of this prince as the new sovereign was 

885-890 certainly a happy one, for Ashot was a wise and just man, 
also the courts of Constantinople and Bagdad undoubtedly 
influenced the decisions of the Armenians. Ever since the Arabs seized 
the country, it was the object of constant strife between the Greeks and 
the Arabs. Both sides were weary of this state of things, and it was 
probably by mutual agreement that the two powers decided in favor of 
Armenia's political rehabilitation. Unfortunately the new king's power 
was very limited. Notwithstanding the large extent of his family holdings, 
Ashot had sovereign rule only over the province of Ararat, and, besides, 
was still under tribute to the Caliphs and saddled with some obligations 
to the Emperor. However, Armenia regained self-government in the 

(1) There was another town bearing the name of Ani or Camakh, situated 
on the west bank of the Euphrates, in the canton of Daranaghi, Upper Armenia. 
Constantine Porphyrogenetos calls it Kamakha. This stronghold was once celebrated 
for its temple of Ormuzd, and its burial places of Armenian kings, also on account 
of the crown treasures being kept there. 

— 154 — 

north of the Araxes, and both nobles and people seemed pleased with 
the fact. 

Nevertheless, the nobility who had agreed on Ashot's becoming king 
and who at the instance of the patriarch George had silenced for a while 
their personal ambitions, did not maintain their submission to the ruler 
they had themselves chosen. Jealousies that were stilled for a season 
broke out afresh. Not only did each one seek to be a potentate in his 


own fief, but Ashot had to struggle against several rivals for the crown 
who sacrificing national interest to their desires, had taken to arms. In 
the Gougarq region the uprising was the most serious. The king pro- 
ceeded there at the head of a small army hastily recruited, and hardly 
had he settled matters in the north of his dominions when his own son- 
in-law, Gregory Ardzruni, raised the standard of revolt in the province 
of Vaspurakan. This latter prince, however, who owed allegiance to his 

155 — 

king at Ani, rashly attacked also the Moslem chiefs of Khoi and Salmas 
and was defeated and killed by the Kurds. 

With danger averted in that direction, Ashot had to turn against 
the prince of Kars who was claiming the Armenian crown, and then 
towards the district of Turuberan. While he was enforcing peace in 
the interior of the kingdom, his brother Abas scoured the mountains at 
the source of the Kura river, and then proceeded to punish the rebels at 
Erzerum, Security reappeared in Armenia as the king's authority was 
established. But Ashot, constantly threatened by the Moslems of Kurdi- 
stan, felt that it would be difficult for him to maintain his realm without 
eifective help from the Greeks; consequently he went to Constantinople 
where Leo the Philosopher, an Armenian, was then reigning (886-912). 

This journey shows that even though Armenia was tributary to the 
Caliphs, she none the less had ties with the Empire, and that the new king 
relied on Byzantium to free himself from the Moslems. That, no doubt, 

was what Ashot intended. The Armenian 
historians relate that he was magnificently 
received by the Basileus, and that the sov- 
ereigns signed two treaties, one political and 
the other a trade agreement. We have not 
the text of these contracts, but if they were 
signed, it shows that the authority of the 
COIN OF EMPEROR Caliphs was remarkably weak in the north 

^^^ ™88™2)^^^^°^^' of ^he Moslem empire, and that it consisted 

only of the annual tribute paid by Armenia. 
The Emirs of Azerbaidjan and Kurdistan, however, who were under Bag- 
dad's orders, kept unceasing watch on the Christian kingdom and threat- 
ened it at every turn, and Ashot sought means of coping with this danger. 
During his stay at the Byzantine court, the king of Armenia appar- 
ently sent home for troops, and despatched them under the command of 
Prince Meghrik to help the Greek army then warring with the Bulgarians. 
From this we may conclude that Emperor Leo undertook to supply Ar- 
menia with some legions against the Moslems. Unfortunately Ashot died 
at Trebizond on his way back. His remains were transferred to the town 
of Bagaran, the ancient city of idols, on the Arpa-tchai, not far from Ani. 
Although Ashot had been unable to carry out his wise schemes, he 
had at least had time to pacify the country and compel the obedience 
of the nobles. He was unable, however, to restore his kingdom from the 
ruins caused by the Arab conquest. He needed above all positive pro- 

— 156 — 

tection by the Byzantines, and the end of his reign was devoted to bringing 
about agreements that would assure safety to his throne. 

Ashot left a son, named Sembat, and this heir was 
SEMBAT I proclaimed king by the patriarch George II and the 
890-914 nobles. But even while the young prince was receiving 

his crown, a most dangerous rival rose against him, his 
own uncle Abas. This commander of the army, the victor of Kars and 
Erzerum, rallied some of the nobles of Gougarq and marched on Ani to 
depose his nephew. He listened, however, to the plea of the patriarch, 
and withdrew to his city of Kars, but kept as prisoner the Bagratid Ader- 
nerseh, the Armenian governor of the Georgian territories who had placed 
the crown on the young king's head. 

Without a moment's hesitation, Sembat marched on Kars, and com- 
pelled his uncle to deliver up the Bagratid prince and to submit to his 

Caliph Mothaded-Billah (892-902) and Emperor Leo repeated the 
procedure previously adopted for Ashot, and sent Sembat the insignia 
of kingship. The latter, now assured of peace in his kingdom, pushed 
back his frontiers as far north as Colchis and the Darial gorges, and to 
the south-west as far as the city of Karin (Erzerum). - 

Van and all the southern part of the Armenian territory was then 
under the direct government of the Arabs, and Afschin, the emir of 
Azerbaidjan, who had recognized Sembat in the Caliph's name, was 
suspicious when he saw the young king extending his frontiers southward. 
The alliance of Ashot and the Emperor, renewed by Sembat, aroused 
his wrath, and he conceived the plan of bringing Armenia again under the 
Moslem yoke and having himself placed on the throne at Ani. But Bag- 
dad refused to enter again into strife with the Empire concerning Armenia. 
No opposition would be offered by the Caliph to the Emir's conquering 
the country, but there would not be any official encouragement in the 
way of subsidies or troops. 

Moslem forces moving towards Nakhitchevan on the Araxes gave 
the alert to the Armenian king who made his preparations, but, thinking 
he might avert war by negotiating, sent the Catholicos George to the 
Emir with peaceful messages. Afschin expressed his desire for an agree- 
ment, but asked that the king should come and talk things over personally 
with him. This clumsy ruse not succeeding, the disappointed Moslem 
made the Catholicos his prisoner and hostilities began. The Azerbaidjan 
troops advanced to the middle of Armenia, and a battle took place near 

— 157 — 

the village of Dols at the foot of the Alagheuz. The Emir was defeated 
and fled to his own land with the remnant of his army. 

Afschin was humiliated but not disheartened. Learning that the 
governor of Mesopotamia, Ahmat, had just invaded the District of Taron, 
and that Sembat had been defeated in the lake Van region, he re-entered 
Armenia and besieged the city of Kars which had to capitulate. He war, 
thus able to carry away to Dovin as hostages the Queen, the wife of the 
crown prince Mouschegh, and other Armenian princesses, which obliged 
the king to consent not only to deliver up his nephew Sembat and his son 
Ashot, but to give Afschin the daughter of his brother Schapouh in mar- 
riage. Although of opposite religion, the Christian rulers often found 
themselves in those days obliged to send their daughters into the infidels' 
harems, a humiliation on their part which greatly flattered the Moslems, 
pleasing their vanity more than anything else. Some centuries later a 
Comnenus, Emperor of Trebizond, gave his daughter to the Khan of 
Tartary in the hope of obtaining the latter's assistance against Mahomet 
II, the conqueror of Constantinople. 

Despite the above sacrifices, Sembat could not secure peace for his 
country. For political reasons he had crowned Prince Adernerseh as 
king of Georgia, and this appointment to the northern kingdom aroused 
the jealousy of the Armenian princes, who called on Afschin (898). The 
emir was getting ready to invade Armenia once more when death over- 
took him. He was exasperated because his chief eunuch, bribed by Sem- 
bat, had restored to him the captive princesses, and he would have taken 
his revenge by ravaging the kingdom had not fate arrested his ire. His 
brother and successor, Youssouf, shared his resentment and harbored the 
same designs, as he took over the rule of Azerbaidjan. 

The king of Armenia was accustomed to send the Caliph his yearly 
tribute through the medium of the Emir of Azerbaidjan. Deeming it im- 
proper, however, to continue in this humiliating position towards his 
sworn enemy and rightly considering that the tribute would be lighter 
if it were paid direct to Bagdad, Sembat made this offer to the Caliph in 
writing. The new Caliph Moktafi-Billah (902-908) accepted it, and sent 
him a gold crown as a token of goodwill. 

This change of procedure deprived Youssouf of a large revenue, for 
his office as middleman was highly remunerative. He was incensed against 
the king of Armenia, and by gifts and crafty words, he gained the ear 
of the Caliph who doubled the Armenian annual tribute. Sembat was 
obliged to increase his levy of taxes on the princes, with the consequence 

— 158 — 

that they in turn revolted. The uprising started in the mountains of the 
north adjacent to Georgia, and the conspirators planned to bring about 
the assassination of the king and to give the crown to Prince Adernerseh 
then dwelling at Tiflis. But Sembat defeated them, captured the ring- 
leaders and blinded them. Adernerseh, however, he spared. (907). 

Taking advantage of the disturbances keeping the king away in 
Gougarq, Youssouf again invaded the Ararat country. Gaghik, one of 




PURAKAN (914- 



Sembat's nephews, was on the side of the Moslems. After having raided 
the Christian territory, Youssouf in the name of Caliph Moktader-BiUah 
(908-932) crowned the Armenian traitor as king of Vaspurakan and en- 
throned him in the city of Van. 

During the last years of Sembat's reign, 
Armenia became a prey to the Moslems of Azer- 
baidjan. In vain did the king endeavor to ap- 
pease Youssouf. The Catholicos John VI who 
was sent to the emir with rich gifts was kept 
prisoner, and Youssouf the following year crossed 
the Araxes, entered Nakhitchevan, and ravaged 
Siuniq. the governor of which province, Gregory, a nephew of Sembat. 
had to surrender. Thereafter invading the district of Schirak, the Mos- 
lems seized another of the king's nephews, the commander-in-chief Ashot. 
Resuming the fight when the winter was over, the enemy reached the 
province of Nik, east of Erivan. There Sembat tried to withstand the 
Arabs, but he was defeated in a bloody battle. Gregory, the prince of the 
Siunians, and Mouschegh, one of the king's sons, were captured by Yous- 
souf in this fight, and shortly afterwards put to death by him. The Catho- 
licos John VI whom the Emir had taken along with him in this campaign 
was freed on payment of a large ransom, and later consigned to history 
the misfortunes he had witnessed. He was to describe the atrocities com- 
mitted by the Azerbaidjanians in the lands to the east of Dovin and Lake 
Sevan which they had seized. 

159 — 


The treachery of Gaghik was the chief cause of Armenia's downfall; 
at Youssoufs instigation he went headlong into a wicked war. The Emir's 
only aim in sowing dissension among the Armenians was to get them 
to destroy one another so that he might extend his own dominion over all 
of Sembat's provinces. The king of Vaspurakan finally realized the full 
horror of his conduct and the results of his rebellion. He begged Sembat 

to pardon him and offered him his friend- 
ship. It was alas! too late, for the king 
feeling himself unable to continue the 
struggle, shut himself up In the fortress 
of Kapouyt (the Blue Castle) located in 
the rocky mountains east of the Masis. 
There the Emir besieged him. After a 
long siege, Sembat obtained his promise 
to allow him to leave the fortress with his 
troops and withdraw to the province of 
Schlrak. Youssouf, however, was afraid 
that the new alliance between Gaghik and 
Sembat would result in difficulties for 
him, and he treacherously seized the king of Ani, and threw him Into a 
dungeon at Dovin, where the unfortunate monarch was subjected to the 
most degrading treatment. 

The king's misfortunes had only begun, however, for his mental 
suffering was to be followed by martyrdom. Youssouf besieged the for- 
tress of Erendschak, not far from Nakhitchevan in Siunlq, and in order to 
get the defenders to surrender he had the unhappy king taken In chains 
before the walls and ordered him to be tortured before their eyes. Sembat, 
even under torture, proclaimed his Christian faith which the Moslems 
sought to make him forswear, and faced with his stubbornness, the Emir 
ordered him put to death. The executioner beheaded him, and his body 
was taken to Dovin and crucified in the public square. 

So perished this unfortunate ruler, the second of the Bagratid dynasty, 
after a reign of twenty-four years (890-914) during which Armenia was 
drenched with blood not only from Moslem attacks but also from the 
internecine warfare of the Armenian princes. The nobles In their pride 
considered themselves each one a king In his own territory and chafed 
under the authority of their overlord. This was the great defect of the 
feudal organization of Armenia, as it was of the same regime In Europe. 
Internal dissension played the game of their country's enemies; the latter 

— 160 — 

on the contrary were united by their religion and displayed a cohesion 
that was their strength. Youssouf had some Arabs under him, but the 
bulk of his army was composed of Kurds, Persians, and Armenians con- 
verted to Islam. They all, irrespective of their national extraction or 
language, marched against the Christians under the Prophet's standard, 
and any dissensions among the Moslems were never anything more than 
the results of palace intrigues that had very little repercussion among the 
masses. The Caliph's authority, although it had greatly diminished, was 
nevertheless respected generally, and orders from Bagdad were listened 
to as coming from the head of their religion recognized by all the faithful. 

Ashot II (914-929), Sembat's son, ascended the throne 
ASHOT II on his father's death, but it was a very tottering throne 
914-929 for, on the one hand, Youssouf had left garrisons in all 

the chief positions in Armenia, and on the other, many 
Armenian chiefs refused to submit to the new king of AnI. A part of 
the people, following the example of their nobles, were engaged in looting. 
Anarchy reigned in the provinces that Ashot was to reign over. 

Notwithstanding these countless difficulties, this new king whom 
the Armenians surnamed Yergath, (i.e. "of iron"), succeeded in driving the 
Moslems from all the fortresses they had held throughout his dominions. 
Youssouf, however, aided by the prevailing lawlessness and the dissensions 
among the nobles, again invaded those provinces which the king could 
not defend, and sowed desolation in the wake of his army. Encouraged 
by their master, the soldiers of Islam committed nameless atrocities. The 
towns and villages that fell into their hands were reduced to ashes; men 
and women were tied together and cut in pieces; pregnant women were 
ripped up, and children at the breast crushed, or else thrown from the 
house-tops, or from cliffs, with other bandits waiting to receive them on 
their spears below. Thousands of women and maidens were distributed 
among the soldiers or taken off to be sold as slaves. Youssouf, spurred 
by ambition as much as by hatred of Christianity, gave the Armenians 
the choice only of apostasy or death under the most cruel torture. The 
disaster was tremendous. The peasants fled into the mountains, hid in 
Inaccessible heights or In caverns, abandoning their villages and farms, 
with the consequence that ere long famine added its ills to those of war. 

Armenia would have perished entirely had not Emperor Constantine 
Porphyrogenetus acceded to the plea of the king and the patriarch John VI, 
and sent Ashot some military assistance. The latter with this help suc- 

— 161 — 





ceeded in taking a few rebel cities and in driving the Moslems from the 
plain of Erivan. Among the rebel cities he overcame was the town of 
Koghp at the junction of the Arpa-tchai and the Araxes; its inhabitants 
were severely punished. This town, however, apparently belonged to 
the commander-in-chief Ashot, son of the uncle of king Schapouh, for this 
prince looked upon its capture as a personal affront as also the punishment 
of the inhabitants, and he accordingly took up arms against his suzerain 
(921-923). Youssouf encouraged him in this re- 
volt and proclaimed him king of Armenia at Dovin. 
After no less than three reconciliations with his 
suzerain, due to the offices of the Catholicos John, 
followed by fresh rebellion, Ashot nevertheless kept 
his title of king until his death, which occurred 
twelve years after his final submission (936). 

Dovin, not more than a day's march away from 
Erivan, commanded the Ararat plain and its out- 
lets in the direction of Vaspurakan. By entrusting 
the rebel prince with this station, Youssouf provided 
for himself access to the capital of the kingdom of 
Ani. Moreover the example of rebellion given by a member of the royal 
family induced a number of other nobles to declare their independence. 
They were also in hopes of making small kingdoms for themselves, but 
Ashot II compelled them each in turn to return to their allegiance. Some 
of these obtained pardon, but others were blinded, by the king's orders. 

During this troubled period, not only was Armenia ravaged each 
year by the Moslems and by the bands of Armenian peasants that infested 
the country, but the nobles also 
of Gougarq, Uti, and Artsakh. 
who had rebelled against the 
king, called on the Caucasians, 
the Abkhasians, the Aghouans, 
large bodies of whom under their 
respective chiefs overran the 
country, looting and carrying 
away the women. Everywhere 
frightful desolation reigned and 
in the royal family itself the 
darkest plots were hatched. 
Abas, the king's brother, sought 


( from a photograph sent by F. Macler.) 

— 162 — 

Ashot's assassination. When the latter appointed a member of his family 
as governor somewhere, this relative no sooner reached his new abode 
than he would proclaim his independence. 

The king of Armenia needed indeed an iron will to overcome so many 
obstacles. In this he succeeded, by dint of courage and skill. At the 
death of Ashot II, there had been no time for him to restore the cities 
and towns but Armenia was at least at peace, Youssouf having abandoned 
his warfare. A period of prosperity seemed about to dawn for the unhappy 

As Ashot had ro sons, the princes on the advice 
ABAS, 929-953 of Gaghik, king of Vaspurakan, offered the throne to 
Abas, the late king's brother. But, under this new 
sovereign, the revolts which Ashot had suppressed by his vigor, broke out 
with fresh strength. There was fighting everywhere, even in Persian 
Armenia, in the districts of Khoi and Salmas, for not only did the nobles 
refuse obedience to their suzerain, but they were at odds with one another. 
Despite these ceaseless disturbances, Abas restored many cities, in- 
cluding Kars which he made his second capital; he built churches and 
monasteries in the place of those destroyed by the Moslems, and died after 
reigning twenty-four years (929-953), leaving his kingdom still wasted 
and a prey to the strife among the nobles. 

Ashot III who succeeded Abas, according to some 
ASHOT III writers was the son of Ashot II, but as we have seen, that 
953-977 sovereign left no male heir. It is more likely therefore 

that Ashot III was the son of Abas. 

163 — 

T * :•. '■^■■ fflTMiiPtiuliTili, ■''II' 'llhiirrri* 


(from a photograph by K. J. Basmadjian) 

The change of ruler was a fresh signal for trouble In Armenia. Bands 
of robbers overran the country and the outlying districts were infested 
with highwaymen. Nevertheless the new king managed in a few months 
to enforce peace with the help of a few faithful nobles, and when order 
was estabHshed, he had himself crowned In the cathedral of his capital 
city of Ani in the presence of the patriarch Ananias, the Catholicos of the 
Aghouans, and forty bishops. He allowed his brother Mouschegh to as- 
sume the royal crown in Kars (962-984). Thus began the spHtting-up of 
Armenia, acquiesced In by the monarch in the belief that the formation 
of small kingdoms was the only way to keep the allegiance of the tur- 
bulent nobles. 

— 164 — 


Z lOi^ .yt'K?/? Gandzairi 




on 1^ 







/ REC?l?OUNlQc;^' 



'c>' Sj/mas 

b ai djan 





Aboussahl - Hamazasp (958-968) 

ARMENIA DIVIDED was then reigning over Vaspurakan, but 

INTO SEVEN KINGDOMS on his death his territory was divided 

among his three sons, and three king- 
doms were thus formed. Ashot-Sahak ruled over most of the country, 
while his brothers, Gourgen-Khatchik and John Senacherim were kings of 
Antzevatsik and Rechtunlk. As for Siuniq, which comprised the land be- 
tween the Araxes and the Lake Sevan region, it became independent in 
970. Lori, in 982, seceded also from the king of Armenia, and from that 

— 165 — 

time to the middle of the 13th century that city was the royal residence 
of the third branch of the Bagratids, namely, the Korikians. 

In Ta'iq a new dynasty was founded, 
but here it was not an Armenian prince 
who proclaimed his independence, but a 
Georgian, David Curopalates (983-1001), 
who, countenanced by the Byzantine Em- 
peror, emerged from Mingrelia where 
his family had taken refuge at the time 
of the Arab conquest, and assumed the 

In this manner, without reckoning 
the local nobles who had each declared 
the independence of his district, Armenia was split up among seven kings, 
almost all at war with one another or with their vassals. The north of the 






^from a photograph by K. J. Basmadjian) 

country was under the influence and nominal authority of Constantinople, 
while the southern kingdoms paid tribute to the Moslems. 

In any case, the more unruly of the ambitious princes having achieved 
the satisfaction they had longed for, the reign of Ashot III "the Charitable" 
was fairly peaceful and prosperous. He defeated and slew the Saracen 
Hamdoun who had revolted against the Caliph and invaded Armenia. 
This service ingratiated him with Mokti-Billah (94-5-974). Otherwise, he 

166 — 

was satisfied with defending his frontiers, restoring quiet to his realm, 
and fortifying his chief cities, particularly Ani. But politics in those days 
were so unstable that after this loyal conduct towards his suzerain the 
Caliph, Ashot with thirty thousand troops joined the Basileus John Zi- 
misces then threatening the Arabs on the Tigris. 

Ashot III was one of the best of his dynasty and his kindness earned 
him the title of "The Charitable". He was a man of vigorous action in 
the presence of the enemy or faced with his rebellious nobles, and at the 
same time of a disposition so charitable that it became proverbial. He was 





(from a photograph by K. J. Basmadjian) 

of great piety and built very many churches, monasteries, and houses of 
refuge, and devoted himself to the care of his people. His wife, Queen 
Khosrovanoisch (daughter of Chosroes) was as devoted and generous as 
her husband. The convents of Sana'in and Aghpat in the territory of 
Gougarq (1) were founded by this queen. 

Ashot Hi's eldest son, Sembat H (977-989) was 

SEMBAT II crowned in the Cathedral of Ani. At the outset of his 

977-989 reign he had to put down some revolts on the part of the 

nobles, but these disturbances had no serious results, for 

the separation of Armenia into seven kingdoms made the country much 

easier to pacify, as the nobility could not unite against the king's authority. 

f. 1) Ciinton of Tseraphor (Tzorognet). 60 miles «onth of Tiflis 

— 167 — 

The defense and embellishment of Anl were the king's chief concern. 
He built the double wall flanked by round towers protecting the city on 
the north, a work that took eight years. Sembat died just after he had 
laid the foundations of the magnificent Ani cathedral (989). This superb 
structure, though partly in ruins today, is still majestic in the purity of 
its lines and the chasteness of its carvings. He did not long survive his 
niece whom he had dared to marry contrary to the customs and laws of 
the Church. As we know, Gregorian Christianity forbade the marriage 
of near relatives. He was born at a time when the customs of the Maz- 
deans still left many vestiges, and usage had authorized incestuous mar- 
riages among the Persians. The king transgressed the precepts of his 
religion, and his historians blame him severely, but we may remember 
that the Catholic church later tolerated such marriages, and the act does 
not warrant casting a stain on his memory. 

In the kingdom of Kars, Mouschegh died (984) leaving the crown to 
his son Abas (984-1029). Though lazy and frivolous hitherto, he showed 
himself quite different once on the throne. He was a patron of literature 
and art, and drew to his capital the most eminent scholars, making a small 
Athens of his capital. 

The kingdom of Vaspurakan, under Ashot-Sahak (968-990), had had 
a less peaceful time. Abouthelb, chief of Goghten, a land on the right 
bank of the Araxes, north of Lake Urumiah, had treacherously mas- 
sacred some of this Armenian ruler's troops and war had ensued. The 
brother of the king, Gourgen-Katchik (990-1103), brought about the 
downfall of this State. 

At Sembat H's death, his brother Gaghik I (989- 
GAGHIK I 1020) received the crown. During his reign the dynasty 
989-1020 of the Bagratlds of Ani reached its zenith of power. The 

cathedral was finished, and the little kingdom was covered 
with churches, chapels, monasteries, and schools. Commerce made strides 
hitherto unknown. Nakhitchevan, Ani, Ardzen, Bitlis (Baguech), and 
many other cities became important marts where the products of Persia, 
Arabia, India, and even China, were exchanged for those of the West. 

Despite his lack of political power due to the small size of his king- 
dom, Gaghik availed himself of this era of peace to turn his subjects 
actively In the direction of trade, and Armenia became the intermediary 
between the Orient and the Mediterranean countries. His endeavors were 
richly rewarded, for the traffic between the provinces of the Empire and 

— 168 — 

the Arab possessions meant huge commissions for the Armenian middleman. 

Between the Moslem East and the Christian West ever at war, 
direct business dealings were impossible; middlemen were necessary, and 
by reason of their geographical position two nations only could assume 
this role, namely, the Georgians commanding the route from the Caspian 
to the Black Sea, and the Armenians, living on the plateau above Iran 
and Mesopotamia. The Kartvelians, however, were indifferent and heed- 
less, unconcerned for the morrow, and wasting their energies on their 
princes' quarrels or in fighting their mountain neighbors. They had none 
whatever of the qualities needed to fit them for acting in any economic 
capacity between the two great centers of world production. The Ar- 
menians alone had the capacity to fulfill this mission. They thus brought 
wealth and prosperity to their country. 

(from a photograph by K. J. Basmadjian) 

The chronicler, Aristaces of Lastlvert, who lived at the time of the 
splendor and the downfall of the Bagratid capital, has left us a word- 
picture of the small kingdom of AnI before the arrival of the Seljuks. 
These pages are charmingly poetical and naive, with their truly oriental 

"This country offered the traveler the picture of a radiant and happy 

— 169 — 

"garden, fertile and verdant, with abounding foliage, and laden with fruit. 
'•In their seignloral halls with joyful mien sat the princes; clad in 
"bright colors, they partook of the springtime floral pattern around them. 
"Cheerful words and glad songs alone were to be heard, while the sound 
"of flutes, cymbals, and other instruments caressed the soul as with happy 
"tidings; the elders sat in the public squares, their hoary heads their crown 
"of honor, while the mothers tenderly held their children in their arms 
"as doves sheltering their little ones. And how can one depict the loving 
"looks and tender passion of the newly wed absorbed in blissful content- 
"ment! But let us raise our subject of discourse, and speak of the patriar- 
"chal throne and the splendor of the royal presence. Like unto a cloud 
"laden with the graces of the Spirit, the Pontiff caused the dew of life to 
"fall In showers and water the garden of the Church, whose walls were 
"watchfully guarded by those his ministers consecrated by himself. As 
"for the King, when he proceeded in the morning from the City, he was as 
"the bridegroom issuing from the nuptial chamber, and as the orb of day 
"in its ascent draws the eye of every creature below, so he, radiant 
"in his shining vestments and pearl-laden crown, constrained all to be- 
"hold him and marvel; his white steed In golden harness resplendent In the 
"sunshine dazzled all eyes, while the multitude of soldiers marching before 
"him in compact array were like waves of the sea following one another 
"In succession." (1) 

In spite of the wealth of the Ararat country at that time, the Bagra- 
tid rulers do not seem to have ever coined any money, for no native coin 
has yet been found. Having to pay 
tribute to the Caliphs, the Armenian 
kings were certainly considered as 
subject to the Arabs and therefore 
act entitled to issue their own spe- 
cie. Further north, in the terri- 
tories which the Greeks looked upon 
as belonging to the Empire, there 
was greater tolerance, and so we 
have specimens of coins struck by 
the Georgians. David Curopalates 
(983-1001) in the Taik territory, 



(1) Transl. A. TCHOBANIAN. 

— 170 — 

Bagrat IV (1026-1072), son of Giorgi I, Giorgi II (1072-1089) at Tiflis, 
have left us their silver and copper pieces struck in the Byzantine style, 

and the last Armenian king of Albania, 
Korike (1046-1082) struck foUes. Both in 
Georgia and Aghouania, however, this mon- 
ey was insufficient for the needs of trade, 
and Byzantine and Arab gold pieces were in 
circulation, as in all Western Asia. For 
silver coins there were the dirhems issued by 
the Caliphs, and the old Sassanid and Ro- 
man denarii, while as to copper money, all 
the mints of the Empire put out huge 
amounts. It is surprising, however, that there were no mints in this 
region, for Armenia is extremely rich in copper and silver mines. 




Though peace had come to Armenia, the same was not true of the 
surrounding countries. The Caliphs were experiencing unceasing revolts 
on the part of the emirs, and on the north the people were fighting among 
themselves, against the Arabs, and against the Georgians. In the west, 
there was equal misfortune, the Emperor Basil II was threatened by the 

Bulgarians. The Greek emperors had 
transferred to Macedonia in the past a 
large number of Armenian families, and 
the latter making common cause with 
the Bulgarians had taken up arms against 
their former rulers. The chief of the 
insurgents, named Samuel, was born In 
Armenia, in the district of Derdchan, 
east of Erzerum. Momentarily victorious 
over the Greeks, he laid down his arms on condition that the Basileus give 
him his sister in marriage, hoping in this manner to forge a claim to the 
Imperial crown, an ambition flattered by the memory of Leo the Philo- 
pher and other Armenians who had worn the purple of the Caesars. But 
instead of sending him the princess, Basil had Samuel presented with a 
young slave, who was taken to him by the Metropolitan of Sebaste. In 
his anger Samuel had the patriarch burned alive. This cruel deed did 
not remain unpunished, for Basil, "the Slayer of Bulgarians" (Bulgaro- 
ctonos), defeated Samuel and executed him. 


171 — 




Gaghik deemed it wise not to 
meddle with the strife going on in 
Europe, and besides it would have 
been difficult to send troops into the 
West, when the kingdoms adjacent to 
Armenia were tearing one another 

David whom the Emperor had 
placed over the land of Ta'ik took ad- 
vantage of the death of Pad, emir of 
the Abahunians, to drive out the Mos- 
lems from that territory, and had seized Manazkert. The vanquished enemy 
called on Mamloun, the emir of Azerbaidjan, for help, and he with auxi- 
liaries he summoned from Persia won back the districts taken from the 
Moslems. Whereupon David obtained the assistance of Gorige I, king 
of Georgia, and Gaghik, king of Kars, and thus recovered the districts 
north-east of Lake Van. 

Despite his advanced years, David was prevented from enjoying his 
renown by reason of surrounding jealousy. At the instigation of the 
nobles of the land of Taik, the Georgian archbishop Hilarion smothered 
him, after trying, it is said, to kill him by putting poison in the holy 
elements reserved for the Eucharist (1). 

About the year 1003, the king of Vaspurakan, Gourgen-Khatchik, 
died and his brother John-Senacherim (990-1006) seized the throne over 
the heads of the deceased king's children. Gaghik I, his suzerain, who 
did not dare to oppose this injustice, died nearly twenty years later. 

Johannes-Sembat, or Sembat III (1020-1042), the 
SEMBAT III eldest son of Gaghik, ascended the throne of Ani, but 
1020-1042 his corpulency unfitted him for fighting and he had none 
of the qualities a king needed in Armenia's sorry cir- 
cumstances. Temperamentally heedless and indolent, he failed to claim 
the title of Shananshah (or King of kings) borne by his father, with the 
consequence that the various rulers of Armenia freed themselves from 
their feudal ties with the overlordship of Ani. His younger brother, Ashot, 
was enterprising and warlike, and in view of the indifference shown by the 
new king just crowned by Gorige, king of Georgia, he claimed the throne 
for himself and took to arms. Senacherim, king of Vaspurakan, gave him 

(1) Fr. TOURNEBISE, op. cit. according to Matthew of Edessa, I, 22 & 24 — 
The words on this prince's coins are written in Georgian and not in Armenian 

— 172 — 

armed assistance and the two allies came to the walls of Ani to give battle. 
Johannes negotiated through the Catholicos Peter, and Ashot appeared to 
give way and be satisfied with the title of viceroy for the whole kingdom, 
on condition he was assured of ascending the throne at Sembat Ill's death. 

This agreement was on the surface only, for Ashot still sought to 
reign. Taking advantage of his brother's weak character, and being now 
at the royal court, he formed a powerful party by means of violence and 
treachery. In the meantime, Gorige, the king of Georgia captured the 
king and held him prisoner, and Ashot was on the point of availing him- 
self of the opportunity to usurp the crown. Sembat III ransomed him- 
self, however, by giving up three fortresses to the Georgians, and Ashot, 
seeing his plan foiled, tried to lure the king into his hands by a ruse, in 
order that the conspirators might slay him. Prince Apirat, one of the 
latter, acting from his own motives rather than out of repugnance for the 
crime, revealed the plot to the king. Ashot in fear of his life fled to the 
Emperor Basil II, from whom, on the strength of promises we do not know, 
he obtained help. He went back to Armenia in command of Greek troops 
and compelled his brother to surrender to him the territories bordering 
on Georgia and Persia. Of these he made his new kingdom, but it meant 
a fresh parceling out of Armenia and a considerable reduction in the size 
of the king of Ani's realm which now consisted only of the territories of 
Erivan and Ararat. 

During this internecine warfare 

ARRIVAL OF THE TURKS among the Armenians, a terrible storm 

IN ARMENIA was darkening the eastern horizon. 

Barbarous tribes of cruel and fearless 
character had emerged from the Oxus plains and invaded Khorasan and 
the north of the Iranian tableland, driving before them the Persians and 
Kurds and the Arab emirs. None could stand before these swift horse- 
men and unequalled bowmen, who attacked and retreated with like ra- 
pidity. The Seljuk Turks were invading Western Asia and spreading 
like some overflowing torrent. The Armenian historians called these 
nomads Scythians or Scythian Tartars, remembering the hordes that 
fifteen centuries before had likewise overrun Asia from those endless plains 
beyond the Caucasus and the Caspian and the Bactrlan mountains. 

The Turks had developed into a nation at the foot of the Altai moun- 

— 173 — 

tains, on the steppes still inhabited by the Turcomans, where Jagatai, the 
early Tartar language, was spoken. Though since converted to Islam, 
at that time the Turks were neither co-religionists nor allies of the Arabs. 
On the contrary, they cast greedy eyes both on the rich provinces of the 
Caliph and those of the Emperor. They were insatiable robbers and un- 
bridled in their thirst for blood. Arab cruelties were nothing compared to 
those the Turks were to commit. 

Even more than Johannes' kingdom, Vaspurakan was then In need of 
a brave and skilful chief to repel the attacks of the robber hordes issuing 
from the eastern plains. The Turks had already appeared on the Ar- 
menian borders, after making themselves masters of an empire able to 
measure itself against the power of the Caliphs, but these men of the 
north were not attracted by the countries of the south. They went for- 
ward from east to west along the mountain regions where they found 
rich pasturage for their herds. It was more than a war, it was total in- 
vasion, for the entire tribes followed in the wake of their horsemen, car- 
rying with them all their possessions, their wives and children and old 
people, along with their booty from the lands they had sacked, ever seek- 
ing a new settling ground but unable to reach a new homeland because 
drawn ever forward by the desire to possess what others owned. The on- 
ward wave stopped only in front of Constantinople, stemmed for a time 
by the might of the Empire. 

The first encounters of the newcomers ?nd the Armenians were sev- 
ere and took place on the borders of Vaspurakan. Shapuh, Senacherim's 
general, at first put the invaders to flight. This was, however, only a 
brush with the advance-guard of the Tartar tribes. The bulk of their 
army was slowly approaching and the king, fearful of having to meet 
such enemies and aware of his helplessness, gave up his kingdom to Em- 
peror Basil II, keeping only the monasteries with their dependent villages. 
In exchange, the Basileus gave him the city of Sebaste (Sivas) in Cappa- 

docla with Its territory as far as the Euphrates. Sena- 

ARMENIAN cherim abandoned to the Greeks a principality contain- 

PRINCIPAL- Ing ten cities, twenty-two castles, and four thousand vil- 

ITY OF lages, and in 1021 departed to take possession of his new 

SIVAS domain taking with him his family and four hundred 

thousand of his subjects, about a third of the population 
of his former realm. The remainder of his people, after a short interval 

-_ 174 _ 

of protection against their savage enemy, succumbed to Turkish slavery, 
never to rise again until the present time. 

The new principality of Slvas, In the heart of the Greek empire, 
seemed destined to have some peace, but its overlords as Orthodox Chris- 
tians opposed to the Gregorian Armenians could not forget the old sec- 
tarian bitterness. The harsh rule of Constantinople bore heavily on the 
emigrants till the day the Turks in their westward advance seized the 

The Seljuks were already inside the kingdom of Ani, and in 1021 
they reached the fortress of Bedchni on the north of Ararat. There they 
were repelled by the Armenians under Vasak Bahlavuni, the father of 
Gregory Magistros, who was killed, however, after his victory. The 
Emir of Dovin, the Arab Abou-Sewar, fearing for his own safety, aUied 
himself with the Seljuks and fought against the Christians of Armenia. 
David Anoghin, the chief of Gougarq and Aghouania, with the help of the 
Abkhasians to whom he had appealed, marched against the enemies of 
the Cross and defeated them in a frightful massacre, gathering much booty 
at the same time. 

But alas! these were only fleeting and isolated successes. The Ar- 
menians supported by small Greek contingents could not stop the ever- 
increasing stream. Tribe followed tribe; the advance-guards might be 
stopped for a few months but they were soon reinforced by reserves coming 
up. The Turks had left large bodies of troops throughout northern Persia 
and Khorasan, also in the section of Atropatenes where Teheran was later 
built; but the bulk of the nation continued on their way to the rich prov- 
inces of the West. Four and a half centuries still separated them from that 
ill-fated day for civilization when their conquering descendants crossed 
the threshold of St. Sophia. 

The war was merciless, and both sides indulged in the worst excesses. 
The barbarity of the Turks incensed the Armenians and the Christians 
in turn gave no quarter, but the Moslems committed horrors beyond hu- 
man imagination. A governor named Khoudrik, probably a Kurd, having 
recaptured from the Greeks and Armenians the town of Berkry on the 
north-east of Lake Van, had a ditch dug and slaughtered so many Chris- 
tians that the ditch was filled with blood and he could bathe in it. 

Whilst Armenia underwent such suffering, the Byzantines whom 

— 175 — 

Senacherim had let into the heart of the country, lost no opportunity to 
compel the obedience of the unfortunate inhabitants. Disembarking at 
Trebizond, Basil II subdued Abkhasia which had 
rebelled against him, and secured the province of 
Ta'iq which David Curopalates had promised him. 
Then pretending to believe that Johannes had taken 
part in the revolt of the king of Abkhasia, he threat- 
ened the tiny kingdom of Ani. Caught between 
Togruhl bey, the terrible Seljuk chief, and the Basi- 
leus, Johannes sent the Patriarch Peter (1023) to 
Basil II to beg for his protection. Feeling lost, he 
preferred to surrender to the Christians rather than 
submit to the hateful yoke of the Turks, and he 
offered to give up to the Greeks after his death the province of Schirak with 
his capital, Ani itself. This promise, although in writing, remained a dead 
letter so long as Constantine XI (1025-1028), Basil IPs brother, and Mi- 
chael IV the Paphlagonian (1034-1041) reigned at Constantinople. It 
was kept, however, in the archives of the Holy Palace giving the Greeks 
an opportunity of which they availed themselves when the time came, to 
extend their rule over all the regions as far as the Araxes and beyond. 
Moreover the little kingdom of Kars, where Gaghik (1029-1064), the son 
of Abas, then reigned, was likewise coveted by the Byzantines. 


Johannes-Sembat III and his brother Ashot died al- 
GAGHIK II most at the same time, and Ashot's son, Gaghik II, thus 
1042-1045 inherited both crowns. Emperor Michael Calaphates 
thereupon claimed the rights conferred on him by Jo- 
hannes' letter to Basil II, and demanded Schirak and the city of Ani. 
The Regency council refused to admit a surrender that had been obtained 
only through fear, and the Emperor sent into Schirak an army supported 
by Vest-Sarkis, the chief of the Siunians, who hoped to obtain from the 
Greeks the city of Ani for himself in the place of Gaghik. 

The allies were laying siege to the capital when the aged Vahram 
Bahlavuni defeated and slaughtered them. Then, master of the situation. 
Vahram took advantage of the dissensions reigning at Constantinople, to 
have Gaghik II crowned in Ani by the patriarch Peter. This prince was 
then in his sixteenth year, but in valor he was a worthy king and would 
undoubtedly have prolonged Armenia's independence had he not been 
thwarted by treachery. 

— 176 — 

The danger which seemed averted on the Greek side loomed ever 
greater on that of the Seljuks. The Turanians were camped on the 
north of the Araxes on the river Hrastan, the Zenghi-tchai of the Turks, 
which iiows from the Gheuk-tchai into the Araxes. 
Gaghik came out of Ani at the head of his army and 
lured the enemy into a trap where he defeated them. 
The Moslems crossing over the Araxes fled to the 
south-west of Lake Urumiah, towards the Kurdistan 
of Moukri; then after resting they again took the of- 
fensive and invaded Vaspurakan, passing through the COIN OF 


mountains of the Kurds who certainly made common STANTINE XII 

cause with them against the Christians. There a leader MONOMACHUS 
named Khatchik the Lion with only a handful of men held the enemy in 
check. The brave soldier fell in the struggle, but his sons arrived with a 
few thousand men and put the Turks to flight in the districts of Khoi and 

Hardly had Gaghik II repelled the Moslems than the Greeks again 
threatened him. Constantine Monomachus (1042-1055) who had just 
ascended the throne through his marriage with Zoe, claimed Schirak and 
Ani on the grounds of Johannes' promise. The king refused to listen to 
the Greek claims, and when they invaded Schirak, they were defeated 
under the very walls of the capital. ^ 

Unable to conquer the kingdom of Ani by arms, the Basileus had 
recourse to treachery. Byzantine gold subverted a good number of Ar- 
menian nobles who gradually got the king to believe that it was to his 
advantage to accept the Emperor's offers and to go and confer with him at 
Constantinople about terms of peace. 

Splendidly received at first at the Imperial court, 
EXILE OF Gaghik soon found himself summoned by the Emperor 
GAGHIK II to relinquish the throne and surrender to the Greeks 
Schirak and Ani. He refused, and was then threatened 
with captivity and exile, but to no avail. Then Constantine showed him 
a letter in which the Armenian nobles affirmed their allegiance to the 
Empire and offered to deliver to the Emperor the keys of Ani. Betrayed 
by his own nobles, forsaken by all, and alone in a foreign city, Gaghik 
gave up his kingdom (1045) and received In exchange the theme of Ly- 
candus. with the towns of Bizou and Golombeghad, near Caesarea, on 
the border of Cappadocla. He was also given a palace on the Bosphorus 
and a pension from the Imperial treasury. 

— 177 — 

The hatred of the Orthodox Greeks for the Gregorians was not 
assuaged by the annexation of Armenia to the Empire, and the Greeks, 
to convert the Armenians to their creed, used the same severity as the 
Arabs and Turks. As a Roman province, Armenia was actually en- 
slaved by the officials sent from the Imperial capital. Heavy taxes loaded 
down the people, and the extorted gold was used either to pay off the 
Barbarians or to build churches on the Bosphorus. Byzantium made it 
its business to get rid by steel or poison of the Armenian nobles who had 
so much influence with the people, and no noble was sure of living till the 

An inscription carved at Ani a few years after the Byzantines seized 
the city, the text of which was taken down by Brosset, shows its neglected 
condition at that time. It reads: "In the name of Almighty God and by 
"the mercy of the holy Emperor, our Autocrat Constantine Ducas: I, 
"Bagrat Magistros, Katapan [governor general] of the East, Vkatzl, 
"decided to confer benefits on this metropolis of Ani. There were ap- 
"pointed: as Tanouter [Administrator] Mekhitar Hypatos, son of Court; 
"as Spathara-candldate [Equerry] Grigor, son of Lapatac; also as Spa- 
"thara-candidate, Sarkis, son of Artabazus. They canceled the taxes 
"called vetscevor, sailli, camen, and angarion, (1) The Katapan, who- 
mever he may be, shall give six hundred bushels of seed, and the Tanouters 
"shall defray from their official purse the cost of the other gifts. As all 
"supplies have much difficulty In reaching Ani, the wine-merchants of the 
"city shall be exempted from paying toll, whether they use carts or 
"beasts of burden. Every Inhabitant buying an animal for slaughter Is 
"exempted from paying toll. Every porter of the city Is exempt for one 
"half of the cotton (?) Whereas the QapoudjI [overseer of the city gates] 
"received six gold tahegans and three tram, this Is to be reduced by two 
. . . etc. 

His fellow-countrymen's groans reached Gaghik even in exile, and 
the scornful treatment meted by the Greeks to his former subjects caused 
him distress. He himself had often to bear the insolence of his present 
masters, and Incensed at so much misfortune, the prince vowed to avenge 
his nation's honor. Even in Cappadocia the Greeks lost no opportunity 
to express their contempt for those Eastern Christians who did not be- 
lieve In God according to their own ritual. The Metropolitan of Caesarea, 

(1) Vetscevor: one sixth tax. Sailli: machine for treading the com {tribulum 
in Latin) ; Camen: tax on wagons. Angarion was the tribute of enforced labor, or 

— 178 — 

Mark, who was conspicuous for his ill-will toward the Armenians, took 
every opportunity to express his scorn for them. This bishop had a very 
big young dog which he called "Armen", and he also called Armenians 
"dogs". Gaghik was outraged by this insult, and resolved to punish the 
impudent prelate. One day he called with a few friends on the bishop 
who received him with all outwards signs of greatest respect. During the 
interview Gaghik asked to see the dog, and enquired why he was called 
Armen. "He is a very handsome dog," answered the Metropolitan, "and 
so I named him 'the Armenian'." 

The king beckoned to his escort, and they thrust Mark and his dog 
inside a sack, and then struck the dog with a stick so that the animal be- 
came wild and bit his master so terribly that the latter died. 

Thenceforward Gaghik was hated by the Greeks 
GAGHIK II and they sought every means of getting rid of him. 

MURDERED One day as he was walking in the country near the 
1079 fortress of Cyzistra, west of Caesarea, some Greeks 

surprised him, carried him inside the fort, and a few 
days later his bleeding body was hanging from the castle battlements 
(1079). John and David, his two sons, died shortly after, also Ashot, 
John's son, all three of them poisoned. 

The Greeks did not confine their spite to the royal family of Ani. 
In 1080, Atom and Abousahl, Senacherim's sons, were killed at Sivas by 
the Byzantines, along with Gaghik, the son of Abas, the last of the Bag- 
ratid kings of Kars, and their lands were annexed to the Imperial realm. 
Thus the Greeks, more cruel and fanatical than the Arabs themselves, 
had destroyed entirely within a few years, by treachery and murder, the 
famous house of the Bagratids, the hope of the Armenian nation. Some 
collateral branches of the royal stock remained, however, and to this day 
even the name of the Bagratids is still extant. 

These crimes committed by Byzantium were not only wicked but also 
very unwise, for Armenia as an outpost of Christianity in the East could, 
had she been made strong by the Emperors, have stemmed for many 
years the oncoming of the Turks, and been a shield for Constantinople. 
But at the holy Palace sectarian hatred was the chief thought, and there 
was no comprehension of the dangers that the Seljuk invasion involved for 
the Imperial crown. So many previous tribes of barbarians had threat- 
ened the Empire that the general thought was indifferent. 

— 179 — 

The Greeks ruled in western Armenia and shared northern Armenia 
with the Georgians, whilst the Seljuks held the eastern part of Trans- 
caucasia, and Arab princes occupied the southern provinces. This state 

(Nedjm-ed Din Elpi. 1152-1176) 

of things did not last long, however, for the Greeks, blind to the military- 
help they might have had from the Armenians, were unable to maintain 
in the Ararat region any army that could stand up against the new in- 
vaders. Both Byzantines and Caucasians were eventually driven out by 
Alp-Arslan and his son Melik-Shah (1072-1092), whose dominions soon 
extended from the Indus to the Caspian Sea and the Bosphorus. From 
atop the Byzantine towers could then be spied the terrible horsemen of 
the steppes riding on the Bithynian shore. Emir Sokman, son of Ortok, 
and his brother Il-Ghazi (the Victorious) founded each an Ortokid dy- 
nasty, one at Amidus and the other at Mardin, and Sokman took the title 
of Shah-Armen, "king of Armenia." (1) 

Nevertheless the Turkish conquest of Armenia met with some re- 
sistance on the part of the inhabitants, and the Greeks also had still a 
few legions on the Araxes and on the plateau of Erzerum. From 1048 
to 1054 Togruhl bey several times sent out his hordes over the eastern 
provinces of the Empire. His cousin Kutulmisch and his nephew Hassan 
were defeated, but his brother Ibrahim laid waste the territory of Vaspura- 
kan, and then proceeding north captured Ardzen, near Erzerum, a city 
which then had eight hundred churches and enormous wealth. The Turks 

(1) According to Miraat-el-iber, Emir Ortok Len Eqsuq was a Turcoman from 
the city of Schehriman in Transoxiana, and came from there in the year 455 of the 
Hegira to enter the army of the Seljnk ruler Alp-Aslan. His sons founded the dynas- 
ties called the Ortokids. 

— 180 — 

burned the city after sacking it, and took off 150,000 of the inhabitants of 
the district into slavery. 

Continuing northward, Ibrahim attacked near Ardzen the Greek 
army of sixty thousand men, who had just seen central Armenia pillaged. 
The Bulgarian commander of Vaspurakan named Aaron, Prince Libarid 
of Georgia, and Cramen, the Greek governor of Ani, were in command 
of this force, and they fought the enemy and made him withdraw. Libarid, 
however, fell into the hands of the Moslems. The Turks were stopped 
but not defeated, for on withdrawing from the Imperial army, they seized, 
sacked, and destroyed Kars. The ruler of that city, Gaghik-Abas 
or Korike (1046-1082), avoided capture only by taking refuge in the 
famous citadel of Kars, built on an inaccessible rock. 

The inroads of the Turks were unceasing. In 1054, Togruhl himself 
entered the districts of Van and laid them waste. Gaghik-Abas who went 
out against him was defeated and obliged to flee inside Van, and the Tur- 
kish chief then proceeded to besiege Manazkert, a city near the junction 
of the Tuzlu-tchai and the Araxes. The town was defended by Basil, 
the son of the Armenian Aboukhab, who was governing it for the Empire. 
Togruhl failed owing to the garrison's heroic resistance. To avenge his 
set-back, he plundered the town of Ardzke on the north of Lake Van. 

Circumstances, moreover, favored the Seljuks. The death of Con- 
stantine Monomachus, and the struggle between Emperor Michael VI 
and his rival Isaac Comnenus, were then distracting the Byzantine court, 
and Armenia in fragments, defeated and rulerless, could offer the Turks 
but slight resistance. Togruhl accordingly devastated western Armenia 
and Melitene. Lack of supplies for his army compelled him, however, to 
withdraw, and the Armenians attacked him in the mountain gorges and 
caused him serious losses. Nevertheless the following summer the Turkish 
chief took the city of Sivas (Sebaste). (July, 1059). The latter city 
was sacked, its churches left in ruins, and the majority of the citizens put 
to the sword. The survivors were carried off into slavery, and the Moslem 
army left the banks of the river Halys (Kizil-Irmak) with an enormous 
train of spoil, of carts laden with gold and silver and rich fabrics, for 
Sivas was then a very important trading cei.'ter. Every year these in- 
satiable robbers repeated their invasions of Armenia, slaughtering mer- 
cilessly the inhabitants and sowing desolation in these formerly rich 

Togruhl bey died in 1063, and his nephew Alp-Arslan (the brave 
Lion), who was even more fierce and bloody than his uncle succeeded to 

— 181 — 

the command of the Turkish tribes. He had no sooner taken over than 
he swooped down on Armenia, subdued the Aghouans and carried deso- 
lation throughout the lands of the Lesser Caucasus, laying their towns 
in ruins. Ani alone shut itself within its gates and resisted with the cour- 
age of despair. Bagarat the Armenian, who bore the title of Duke, held 
the city for the Byzantines, and just when Alp-Arslan had become weary of 
fruitless attempts to storm it and was about to withdraw, this governor, 
afraid lest he should have still bigger attacks to meet, 
CAPTURE OF took shelter in the citadel situated as we have seen 
ANI BY THE south of the town. Forsaken by the Greek troops, 

SELJUK the inhabitants were already fleeing along the valley 

1064 of the Arpa-tchai when the Turks scaled the now de- 

fenseless ramparts and gained an entry (6 June, 1064). 
Nameless massacres and devastation ensued, and blood flowed like a river 
in the streets and squares. Thousands and thousands of people were 
put to the sword and those who took refuge inside the churches perished 
in the burning edifices. Any Armenians who appeared to be wealthy 
were tortured and forced to disclose their treasures. 

The Armenian chronicler of the 11th century, Aristaces of Lastivert, 
wrote: "Our cities were devastated, our houses and palaces burned, our 
"royal halls reduced to ashes. Men were cut to pieces in the streets and 
"women snatched from the homes. Infants were crushed on the pave- 
"ments and the faces of the young disfigured; maidens were ravished 
"in the squares and youths killed in the presence of the aged; the hoary 
"heads of the old men were steeped in blood and their bodies rolled in 
"the dust." 

The looting and killing of the citizens continued for several days, 
until Alp-Arslan withdrew leaving nothing but ruins. Duke Bagarat and 
the Greek soldiers had fled under cover of a storm and the Seljuk leader 
replaced them inside the citadel by a Moslem governor and garrison. 
Blood-stained and glutted with treasures, Alp-Arslan proceeded from the 
ravaged city to Nakhitchevan, taking with him an enormous quantity of 
booty and a multitude of slaves. Among the riches stolen from the Bag- 
ratid capital was the great silver cross that had crowned the Cathedral 
dome; this the Turk purposed to lay on the threshold of his mosque in 
Nakhitchevan so that the true believers should have the satisfaction of 
trampling on the Christian emblem every time they entered their holy 
place to praise the glory and might of Allah. Ani never arose from its 
ruins. Occupied in turn by the Seljuks (1064-1072), the Kurdish emirs 

— 182 — 

(1072-1124), the Georgians (1124-1126, 1161-1163), and by the Tartar, 
and Persians, it saw its final days in the Uth century (1) when an earth- 
quake overthrew whatever little remained of its former splendor. The 
inhabitants migrated into Georgia, the Crimea, Moldavia and Poland. 

Ani, the city of a thousand churches, of which I have already des- 
cribed the site, is nothing more today than a ruin-covered wilderness, 
the abode of wild animals. This very abandonment of the Bagratid 
capital gives, however, an ineffable charm to the remains of its one-time 
glory. On this promontory fringed with the deep gorges where its two 
rivers flow, the dead city stretches out into the mystery-laden air, where 
the great churches and the ramparts alone survive. Shapeless heaps of 
rubbish hidden by the brushwood mark the spots where once stood 
princely dwellings; the streets and squares have vanished, the palaces 
have crumbled, and yet, amid this tangled mass of bits of walls, are still 
to be seen imposing sanctuaries, stately in their ordered lines and en- 
trancing in their ornate lace-like carvings and their quaint frescos. The 
majestic remains of these sacred edifices, the names of which are mostly 
forgotten today, bear witness to the refined taste both of the kings of 
Ani and their architects. The double wall defending the city on the north, 
with its towers, castle, and keep, call forth countless memories linking 
Armenia with the West. One cannot help but feel Intense pity as one 
walks through these desert places today, pity for the victims of the ter- 
rible deeds here committed, of the massacres and sackings so poignantly 
related by Aristaces. Turkish misgovernment during the ensuing cen- 
turies is indeed seen to be Satan's handiwork. 

The country around Ani is barren and denuded, with rocks of pink, 
brown, and yellow-gold lava; the soil is red, and the hills seem still to 
carry lingering flames of the fires that destroyed the Bagratid city and of 
the volcanic outbursts that consummated its ruin. 

A few remains of Ani's wealth, saved from the pillage, have come 
down to us. The treasure-room of Etchmiadzin cathedral contains silver 
crosses, church decorations, objects of worship, and precious manuscripts 
piously preserved by the priests, whilst other relics that have come to 
light in recent excavations have been housed in a museum reverently 
maintained at Ani Itself. 

About the year 1318 (718 of the Hegira), the first Moslem prince of 
Ani, Manouchar, the son of Aboul-Sewar, built at the edge of the Arpa- 

(1) A.D. 1320, or year 769 of the Armenian era. 

— 183 — 

tchai cliffs a mosque, the ruins of which are still to be seen. It was a 
building showing strong Byzantine influence upheld by low squat columns 
and with semi-circular arches; the edifice was undoubtedly copied partly 
from the Christian buildings at Ani, particularly the Khoscha-Vank. At 
the top of the polygonal minaret can be clearly seen, built of bricks in the 
stone, a Kufic inscription invoking Allah. 

Freedom for Greater Armenia was at an end; some of her nobles 
turned to the Greeks despite their repugnance for the tyranny and trea- 
chery of the Byzantine court, others accepted the Seljuk yoke, and some 
embraced Islam, but the majority of the people did not abandon the land 
of their forefathers and preserved its traditions and faith, preferring 
slavery to shame. In the west, a new Armenia was about to rise, and all 
hope was not lost for the Haikian nation. 

Greater Armenia was over fifteen hundred 
ROLE OF years old when she sank into political oblivion. 

THE ARMENIAN As we have seen, she never once ceased her 
NOBLES struggle for independence, but her very geographi- 

cal position between two great empires destined 
her to fall. From the time of Alexander's conquests and Rome's appear- 
ance in Asia, with the constant threats of the Parthians, the Sassanids, 
and the Arabs on the one side and the legions of Italy and Byzantium on 
the other, she had no chance against formidable enemies. 

Her people, nevertheless, were endowed with energy and warlike 
qualities; her nobles and kings also showed exemplary bravery, but by 
the very fact of their origin and of the influence of neighboring States, this 
aristocracy lacked the necessary community of though to cope with such 

When the children of Haik conquered the land of Ararat, they were 
all primitive peoples led by their tribal chieftains or heads of clans, by 
their Armeno-Phrygian or Brigian nobility. In the process of assimilating 
the inhabitants of Nairi and Urartu whom they conquered, however, 
they had to respect the traditions of these latter, whose leaders, having 
formerly fought the Assyrians, were maintained as nobles in the new 
community. A comparison of Armenian family names with those of the 
Urartaean language shows the origin of many of the ruling houses of 
Armenia. We can be sure that the two aristocracies were not one in senti- 
ment, and that the Armenian stock considered themselves superior, while 
the Nairi element regretted the time when they were independent. 

— 184 — 

These basic divergencies were supplemented by additional elements 
that settled in Armenia during the successive rules of the Achaemenians, 
the Greeks, the Parthians, the Sassanids, the Romans, the Byzantines, 
the Arabs, and the Turks. Consequently the nobility of the country be- 
came extremely mixed, their interests and trends were varied and often 
opposed, from all of which causes there arose rivalries, hatreds, and much 
chafing under the king's authority, with resulting extreme weakness for 
whole nation. 

Even in the days of Darius we see an Armenian betraying his coun- 
try, and placed by the Persian king in command of an army ordered to 
subdue Armenia. Throughout subsequent history the nobles continued 
to put forward selfish claims, their conflicting racial origin showing itself 
in warring tendencies and interests. 

No doubt they were valiant, brave even to excess, like their neighbors, 
the Georgian nobles, but most often they subordinated the interests of 
the State to their personal ambitions and grudges. The existence of 
seven small Armenian kingdoms at the time of the Turkish invasion is 
the best proof of this. Covered with mountains difficult of access and di- 
vided by nature into very many regions, Armenia in itself was ill-suited 
for political unity. 

The very same causes have operated to preserve to our own day the 
numerous peoples of the Greater Caucasus and their mutual independence, 
likewise the separate tribes of the Kurds who still have each their chief- 
tain and are generally hostile to one another despite their common lan- 
guage and origin. We need not therefore be surprised at the immemorial 
strife in the land of Ararat, which continued after the conversion to 
Christianity, although their religion was indeed one unifying link among 
the different sections of the Armenian people. 

Armenia needed a Louis XI or a Richelieu to quell the strife among 
the nobles and endow royal authority with the power the nation needed 
in its grave difficulties throughout the centuries; but such great men it 
did not have. Some of the rulers were able, it is true, to tame their feuda- 
tories' tempers, but their authority was only fleeting and personal; these 
provincial chieftains were not subdued, and, as we have seen, Persians, 
Greeks, and Moslems, all took adroit advantage of their quarrels. By- 
zantium made a grave mistake in maintaining enmity to the Armenians, 
and her sectarian policy resulted both in Armenia's downfall and in the 
Greeks' own final defeat in the East. Rome never sought to humiliate 
Armenia; on the contrary. Instead of a subject people on the southern 

— 185 — 

slopes of the Caucasus, Byzantium needed an allied kingdom extending 
from the Tigris to the Black Sea and from the Euphrates to the Caspian 
Sea, able with its ten million inhabitants to put many legions of fighting 
men into battle, soldiers sworn to drive back the enemies of Christianity. 
Armenia had such resources at Byzantium's disposal. 

An Armenian State so conceived would have meant salvation for 
the Empire, but at Constantinople, wasted with wranglings over dogma 
and riven with constant palace revolutions, Roman statesmanship was 
entirely lost sight of, and instead of strengthening the kings of Ani, the 
Byzantines did nothing but sow dissension in order to get possession of 
territories they were never able to hold. 

Being more sheltered from the Moslem incursions than their kins- 
men on the Araxes, the Bagratlds of Georgia kept their throne for six 
centuries after the fall of Ani. These more fortunate princes had the 
great Caucasian mountain stronghold to repair to as a last resort when- 
ever they were too hard pressed. 


— 186 

The Barony of New Armenia (1080-1199) 

The Armenian nobles who went with their prince Gaghik II to Con- 
stantinople settled for the most part in the new domains of their sove- 
reign, and formed a small court around him. Most of this nobility, more- 


(1) In Chapters VII and VIII on New Armenia, I have transcribed the names 
in accordance with local pronunciation which for some letters differs from the 
eastern Armenian; e.g. Sempad, Lampron, Gorigos, etc. instead of Sembat, Lambron, 
Korikos, etc The letters b, g, d, k, dz, p, and t of the western Armenians are pro- 
nounced p. k, t, g. tz. b, d respectively by the eastern Armenians. The latter being 
the more regular has been adopted as the classical pronunciation. 

— 187 

over, were more or less related to the Bagratid family. One of them was 
named Rupen, and belonged, some said, to the ancient princely house 
of the Artzrunis who from time immemorial had figured largely in the 
court of Greater Armenia. Others claimed that he was a scion of the 
royal Bagratid line itself. 

Writers are not agreed as to Rupen's actual connection with the royal 
family, but in any case, whether or not his sovereign's kinsman, this noble- 
man exercised considerable authority over his fellow-countrymen exiled 
in the country of Zamantia, for immediately upon the murder of the last 
of the Bagratid kings, he rallied that monarch's former subjects and 
raised the standard of revolt against the Byzantines. 

For centuries the double-dealing, despotism, and oppression of the 
Greeks had aroused profound hatred for them among the Armenians. 
Their mutual aversion was increased by the differences between them of 
language, customs, tradition, and especially religious belief. Neverthe- 
less, since the Ani kingdom's downfall, there were two parties in the Ar- 
menian nation: one which out of sheer discouragement decided to yield 
to the Greeks, and the other which maintained the spirit of the nation 
and, unable to forget the treachery which led to the Bagratid kingdom 
becoming an Imperial province, cherished the hope of avenging the in- 
famous murder of their last king. This latter party resolved to withstand 
the inclination to accept slavery, and to achieve their national indepen- 
dence by force of arms. Besides which, the Byzantine Empire was de- 
crepit and engrossed with religious quarrels and with a number of fac- 
tions. It was beset on every frontier with imminent danger, and could 
offer only slight opposition to any provinces in revolt against the tyranny 
of the dukes, counts, and crowd of officials who had gone out from Byzan- 
tium to fatten themselves on the districts for the privilege of governing 
which they had paid the Imperial treasury. There was no longer any 
security in the Empire's Asiatic provinces and Rupen's revolt remained 
unnoticed in its early stages. 

Under cover of tliis breakdown of Imperial 

RUPEN'S power, the Armenian prince was able to organize his 

REVOLT, 1080 rebellion, gather around him the sturdiest men of the 

nation, and rally the malcontents to open war on the 

Greek government under his standard. Restoring the kingdom of Ani, 

recently fallen into the hands of the Seljuk Turks, was out of the question, 

— 188 — 

so Rupen looked In the direction of Cilicia where a good many Armenian 
nobles had already settled under the protection of the Empire. 

After having been conquered by the Arabs, Cilicia was again within 
the Emperor's dominions. Nicephorus Phocas in 964, with a large army, 
had recaptured from the Moslems the cities of Anazarbus, Rhossus, and 
Adana, and in a succeeding campaign Tarsus and Mopsuestia. In 966 
the Emperor had even extended his conquests as far as Tripoli, Damas- 
cus, and Aleppo. These expeditions, like that of John Zimisces in 973, 
were veritable crusades. Their pretext 
of seizing the holy places from the in- 
fidels did not exclude, on the Emper- 
ors' part, a desire to get back the rich 
Syrian provinces, the loss of which had 
been severely felt by their Treasury. 


Southern Asia Minor, however, 
had suffered grievously from Arab oc- 
cupation, and was ruined and depopu- 
lated. It was essential to rehabilitate 

those districts and organize them so that they might offer to any new 
attacks by the Caliphs a strong bastion capable of protecting Constanti- 
nople. Many Armenian nobles, fleeing before the 
Turks, left their lands on the Araxes and Greater Ar- 
menian plateau, and took refuge in Greek territory. 
Byzantium took advantage of this voluntary emigra- 
tion, and seized the opportunity to build up after a 
fashion her Syrian marches by peopling the Euphrates 
banks and the Taurus with these Christians whose 
military value they had often had occasion to appre- 
ciate. One of these Armenian nobles, Nakharar Oschin, 
had formerly owned the fortress of Mariats-Dchourk 
(river of the Pines), near Gandzak (Elizabethpol) in 
Albania. Leaving his country in 1075 he had come 
to Cilicia where his kinsman Abulkharib Artzuni was 
already governing Tarsus and Mopsuestia for Em- 
peror Alexis Comnenus. The latter nobleman gave 
him, as a hereditary fief, the district and town of Lampron (Nimrud- 
Qal'a) on the Tarsus-tchai, at the opening of the Cilician Gates of the 
Taurus, an exceedingly Important post for protecting Cappadocla. The 


— 189 — 

Arabs subsequently recaptured Antioch, and Cllicia accordingly again 
became an Empire outpost. 

The boundaries of this province of Cllicia are so well 
CILICIA set by natural features, and so distinct from the adjacent 
lands, that one can hardly imagine any other political de- 
marcation than that shown by a reUef map of its surface. On the west 
stand like an immense wall of circumvallation the high chains of Isauria 
and Cilicia-Trachea, a massif of mountains shaped like a vast triangle, 
the northern foot of which opens on the plains of Lycaonia. The eastern 
shore of the Gulf of Satalia forms another side, while the third is the 
western shore of the Gulf of Pompeiopolis. At the apex of this triangle 


is Cape Anamur, Anemurium promontorium, the southernmost point of 
Asia Minor (1). Cilicia's natural situation made it not only of great 
strategic importance, but also extremely valuable on account of the trade 
routes leading to it. 

(1) Ed DULAURIER, Recueil des Historiens des Croisades. 
meniens, voL I, 1869, p. XVIII 

— 190 — 

Docnments ar- 

The valleys of the Seyhoun (Saros) and the 
Jahan (Pyramus) communicated with Coele-Sy- 
ria by the so-called Syrian Gates, an opening in 
the Amanus Mountains between Mts. Guzeldaugh 
and Akmadagh of the Turks, likewise by the 
gorge of Alexandretta and the seashore, the Por- 
tella of western historians. To the south-east 
was the city of Issus, the former scene of Alex- 
ander the Great's victory over Darius Codomanus 
and later of the death of Pescenius Niger, van- 
quished by Septimius Severus. Issus was the crossing place for armies 


\k\ H 



i' j (AicLbe'/iirtcL" 




arriving from the Orontes and going north, or for those from Cappadocia 
en the march to Antioch. 

Aias on the north shore of the Gulf of Alexandretta was then and con- 

— 191 


tinued to be during the Middle Ages a 

very busy port. It was the head of two 
very important trade routes, one feeding 
Cappadocia by way of Lampron and the 
Cilician Gates, and the other extending 
via Gamban and Sebaste in Cappadocia 
to the upper Euphrates and Greater Ar- 
menia. Moreover this coast abounded 
in ports and anchorages. Megarsus, Ala- 
ya, Side, etc., were safe havens for ships, 
and these landing places, like Aias, added 
greatly to Cilicia's trading facilities with 
the Syrian coast and the western coun- 
tries of the Mediterranean. 

It was therefore the Byzantine policy to man all the passages lead- 
ing into Cilicia, and to this end the emperors encouraged the formation 
of small principalities in these regions. The newly arrived nobles received 
the modest title of Ishkhans, corresponding to that of baron which was 
later adopted by the Crusaders. In the Taurus and Amanus mountains 
as also in the plains separating those ramparts, the Ishkhans were already 
fairly numerous when Rupen started his revolt. 

We are unaware of the exact location 
in Cappadocia of the country of Zamantia, 
the domain of Gaghik II, but there is every 
reason to believe that it was north-east of 
Iconium, for Cyzistra where this last of the 
Bagratid kings was murdered, was near 
Caesarea. Rupen therefore set out from the 
neighborhood of that city. He proceeded 
first westward to the mountain massif of 
northern Cilicia, a region that was very dif- 
ficult to reach but from which he could defy 
the Greek troops. He seized the fortress of 
Partzerpert (1), on a tributary of the upper 
Pyramus (Jahan-tchai), about a day's 
march upstream from Sis (2). This last- 
named stronghold was the cradle of the 
kingdom of New Armenia. 


(1) "The Castle above", i.e. on a monntain snmmit. 

(2) Matthew of EDESSA, chap. CLI. TransL DULAURIER, Paris, 1858, p. 217. 


Consequently Rupen did 
not Imitate his fellow-nobles 
and request the Empire's pro- 
tection. He declared himself 
independent, and by so doing 
obtained at once precedence 
over the Armenian barons of 
these mountains, despite the 
fact that he himself had not 
acquired right to any title. The 
historian Hetum writes: "FI- 
"nally he died In the peace of 
"the Lord, after living a pious 
"life, and was buried in the 
"monastery of Castalon, leav- 
"ing his son Constantine 
"(1095-1099) to succeed him." 
The latter was the first of the 
Rupenian rulers to bear the title of baron. 



It is easy to imagine the utterly forsaken condition at that time of 
the lovely province of Clllcia, once so rich on account of its fertile land 
and Its commercial activity. Laid waste by the 
horrors of war, plundered by the Arabs, with 
most of Its people carried Into slavery, and again 
put to fire and sword at the departure of its Mos- 
lem masters, the region had become nothing more 
than a wilderness when the Armenian settlers ar- 
rived. The scattered remaining Greeks, Syrians, 
or Jews were huddled In the ruins of the cities 
and towns. Only the immediate outskirts of 
cities and castles were tilled; the rest of the coun- 
try was abandoned. At the time of the Arab 



(National French 


— 193 — 

conquest, a few Greek nobles had taken 
refuge in the inaccessible heights of the 
Taurus and Amanus chains and held out 
there, whilst the pasturages and forests har- 
bored refugees with their flocks. Rupen's 
successors met, consequently, with but slight 
resistance from the Greeks, and their fel- 
low-Armenians, who had not yet been many 
years in the country, appeared on the whole 
in favor of the formation of the small new State. 






Constantine I, Rupen's son, (1095-1129), 
and his successor Thoros I (1099-1129), carry- 
ing on their predecessor's plan, were concerned 
only with extending their domain at the expense 
of the Byzantines. Men of violent character, 
with few scruples as to their means for achieving 
their ends, these nobles managed by degrees to rally under them all the 
chiefs of the mountains around Partzerpart. Early in his reign, Constan- 
tine obtained possession by stratagem of 
the fortress of Vahka (Feke) on the up- 
per Sarus, and this placed him a position 
commanding one of the most frequented 
roads between Tarsus and Upper Cappa- 

John Dardel, consigning these nar- 
ratives to posterity, has the following ac- 
count of the above feat of arms, or ra- 
ther of cunning, by which the lords of the mountain secured for them- 
selves the collection of tolls on all merchandise ascending from Aias to 
the interior of Asia Minor. The power of the Rupenian rulers had its 
beginnings, in fact, in this supply of funds. 

On one of his usual expeditions, Constantine who had undoubtedly 
been informed by the Armenian agents whom he maintained among his 
neighbors, "arrived in front of a town [Vahka] where the good folk of 
''the country who were 'Armens', were carrying brambles to close up and 
^'repair any holes in the walls of the town which had fallen in. Thereupon 
^'Baron Constant and his companions with him took off their armor and 
"hid it between the brambles, whereof each then made his bundle, which 
"they carried onto the walls just like the other poor people. And it hap- 


— 194 — 

"pesied to be the day of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary and the very 
"hour when the Greeks were at church that the aforesaid Baron Constant 
"carried the aforesaid brambles along with their armor onto the walls of 
"the said city. And when they saw their chance, they put on their armor 
"and took the Castle and then went to the church and seized all the (keeks 
"who were therein." (1) 

The considerable progress the insurgents were 
ARRIVAL OF making did not fail to cause anxiety in Constanti- 
THE SECOND nople, and the Emperor was taking steps to put a 
CRUSADE stop to the defection in the mountains of Armeno- 

Cilicia. when the arrival of the Crusaders frus- 
trated his plans. Godfrey of Bouillon had passed over into Asia, crossed 
Cilicia, and following the road of the Sarus, pitched his tents under the 
walls of Vahka. xMatthew of Edessa (2) has described for us in detail 
the route taken by the Latins. He writes: "In the year 546 [25 February 
"1097 - 24 February 1098]. at the time of the two Catholici of Armenia, 
"Monsignors Vahram and Basil, and in the reign of Alexis, Emperor of 
"the Romans, the host of the Crusaders set out in immense numbers; 
"they were about 500,000 men. Thoros, Seignior of Edessa [for the 
"Greeks] was informed thereof by a letter which they sent to him, as also 
"by the great Armenian chief Constantine, the son of Rupen, who oc- 
"cupied the Taurus in the region of Gobidar [ of Mopsuestia] and 
"had taken a good number of provinces. Constantine had formerly been 
"in the army of Kakig [Gaghik]. The Franks advanced with much dif- 
"ficulty across Bithynia, and crossing Cappadocia in wide-spreading col- 
"umns they reached the abrupt slopes of the Taurus; their great army 
"passed through the narrow gorges of that mountain chain inro Cilicia, 
"and arrived at New Troy, that is to say, Anazarbus, and thence to the 
"walls of Antioch." 

The Armenians looked on Godfrey as a savior, for had he not just 
delivered Asia from the Turkish and Arab yoke, contrary to Greek de- 
sires? Was he not marching under the banner of the Cross, of a religion 
that was nearer to the Armenian faith thaa was Byzantine Orthodoxy: 
Pope Gregory XIII said later: "No nation ever came more spontaneously 

(1) J. DARDEL, chap. VIII. 

(2) Histoire des Crohades. Documents armeniens. vol. I. p. 29 sq. 

— 195 — 

"to the help of the Crusaders than did the Armenians, who supplied them 
"with men, horses, arms, and food." (1) 

The leader of the Crusaders had not failed to acquaint the ruler of 
the Cillcian mountains with the vast plans cherished in Europe concerning 
Palestine, Syria, and Asia Minor, and with the purpose of the Catholic 
world to set up in those countries principalities able to withstand all Mos- 
lem encroachments on the lands of the Mediterranean. Constantine con- 
sidered this movement aflforded him a unique opportunity to throw off 
once for all the overlordship of the hated Byzantines and to increase his 
own power. He supported, therefore, the Crusaders with all his might, 
and the latter would have fared 111 during the siege of Antioch had not 
the Armenians given them armed assistance and also food supplies. 

Matthew of Edessa (2) wrote of the Frankish hosts before Antioch, 
that "their numbers were so great that famine set in. The Armenian 
"chiefs In the Taurus, Constantine, son of Rupen, and Pazuni and Oschin, 
"the second and third of those princes, sent the Frank commanders all 
"the provisions they needed. The monks of the Black Mountain [Ama- 
"nus] also supplied them with food; all the faithful vied with one another 
"In devotion to them In this juncture." 

Understanding the important part which New Armenia might take 
in furthering their aims, the Franks assiduously favored these valuable 
allies. Constantine received the title 
of Comes, but he is more commonly 
referred to under that of Baron which 
his dynasty retained. Joscelin, Count 
of Edessa, married Constantine's 
daughter, and Baldwin, Godfrey's 
brother, espoused his niece, the daugh- 
ter of his brother Thoros (3). In this 
manner their mutual interests were 
strengthened by ties of blood, and these Eastern Christians came inside 
the great feudal organization of the Crusades. 


(1) Papal Bull of 1584 in the Bull. Rom.— Cf. Matthew of Edessa, part II, chap. 
CLI sq.— SEMPAD, Chron. ad., ann. 549. 

(2) Op. cit., p 33 sq. 

(3) VAHRAM, Chron. rim., V. 197-198. 

— 196 — 

The Armenians themselves were not long in reaping the benefits of 
this alliance, for with the help of Tancred, prince of Antioch, Thoros 
(Theodore, Constantine's son and successor) added considerably to his 
realm. j . . J 

In these propitious circumstances, the Armenian baron descended 
along the Pyramus river into the plain still held at a number of points 
by the Greeks who had withdrawn before the invading Crusaders into 
their chief fastnesses. He took from them the famous fortress of Ana- 
zarbus, the walls of which originally built by Emperor Justin I had been 
considerably strengthened by Caliph Harun-al-Raschid, and were thought 
impregnable. Sis also fell into his hands, and everywhere the king piously 
founded churches and monasteries and brought in Armenian settlers. 

With the help of the Franks of Antioch, Thoros had already seized 
most of Cilicia and driven out the small Greek garrisons, when the Turkish 
hordes from central Asia Minor crossed through the Taurus ravines, 
reached the heart of Cilicia, and expelled the Armenians from Anazarbus. 
The whole Latin army had gone down into Syria, and the Byzantines had 
been ousted almost everywhere from the lowland strongholds; conse- 
quently the Turks expected to make short work of Armenian resistance. 
Their aim which they never ceased to cherish until the fall of the Sultans 
of Iconium, was to gain a footing on the southern shore of Asia Minor. 
Thoros succeeded with difficulty in hurling back these bands onto the 
lands of Bazil Kogh, another Armenian noble who reigned at Marasch. 
There the invaders were defeated and obliged to flee abandoning the booty 
seized in Cilicia. Two years later after ravaging the south of Melitene 
they besieged the fortress of Harthan, where they were annihilated. Their 
chief was captured and taken to Kescoun, his victor's residence, near 
Marasch in the Araban plain, on a tributary of the Euphrates right bank. 

The Turkish hordes, however, could not be held forever in check by 
the Greeks, nor by the Crusader and Armenian leaders. All lacked suf- 
ficient troops to keep the field and safeguard their territory. Each coun- 
tryside was the scene of ceaseless raids. Generally the towns were able 
to resist and only the villages suffered the hateful treatment of the Mos- 
lem bands. In 1110, Cilicia was nevertheless again overrun by the no- 
mads. The Seljuk Sultan of Iconium, Malek Shah (1107-1116) headed 

— 197 — 

the expedition himself and carried the day in a first encounter, but Thoros 
was victorious in the ensuing battle. His losses were, however, consider- 
able and a number of the chief nobles fell in the fight. The Sultan with- 
drew to Kharput, laying everything waste as he went. He laid siege 
without success to the fortress of Dzowk (1), and then departed carrying 
with him an immense amount of booty. 

At Thoros Ts death, his brother Leo I (1129-1137) suc- 
LEO I ceeded him as the nearest heir to the principality, his nephew 
BARON Constantine having been poisoned. Upon his accession, Leo 
followed up his predecessors' aims and descending into the 
plain took from the Greeks the cities of Mamestia (Missis), Adana, and 
Tarsus, and pushed on to the Mediterranean seacoast. He needed to 
possess the coast if he was to establish 
his power, for through its ports he could 
maintain profitable connection with Eu- 
rope, instead of being compelled to re- 
sort to the intermediary of the Crusaders, 
his south-eastern neighbors. The rela- 
tions of the Franks and the Armenians 
had become less courteous than formerly. 
Thoros had to be asked several times 
before he sent Baldwin his daughter's 

dowry of 60,000 gold bezants. On one side the 
Armenians complained of the demands and 
exactions of the Crusaders, while on the other 
the Franks accused their allies of being always 
ready to call on the infidels for help whenever 

they were in any way dissatisfied. 

One of the chief causes of dispute between 

the Armenians and the Latins of Antioch was 
the latter's possession of the strongholds of the southern Amanus moun- 
tains and the coast adjacent to the Gulf of Alexandretta. The barons 
claimed these fortresses, but the princes of Antioch asserted that they 


(1) The "Cybistra" of Strabo (XII, 1); not to be confnsed with the city in 
Cappadocia of the same name, eitnated at the opening of the Cilician Gates. 

198 — 


were theirs by virtue of a treaty made in 1097 bewteen Bo- 
hemond and Emperor Alexis I Comnenus. At that date 
the Armenians had not yet penetrated so far southward, 
and the Crusaders were then in possession of the fortified 
places in the middle of the Cilician plain. 

By his marriage with Constance, the only daughter of 
Bohemond II, Raymond of Poitiers had become Prince of 
Antioch (1136). Shortly before his accession (1135), Leo 
had seized the fortress of Sarovanticar (1) belonging to 
the territory of the Crusaders. The Latin nobleman hid 
his resentment, however, and did not resort to arms on 
assuming power, but a little later he captured the Armenian RAYMOND OF 
u u J u I,- f k- .1 POITIERS 

baron by stratagem and shut him up m one oi his castles. pT^j^app Qp 

After two months' captivity, Leo was finally given his ANTIOCH 
freedom, but only on hard terms. He had not only to 
restore Sarovanticar, but to give up also Mamestia and Adana, and pay 
60,000 gold pieces, besides surrendering his son as a hostage. He had 
to agree likewise to assist the prince against the emperor, John Comnenus. 
The unjust and rash seizure of Sarovanticar by Leo I was the first 
serious quarrel between the Armenians and the Crusaders. It seemed 
likely to have grave consequences, for the Ar- 
menian baron deeming himself entitled to dis- 
regard promises extracted by ruse or by force, 
attacked Raymond, recaptured the territories and 
cities taken from him, and remained under arms 
against the Prince of Antioch and his ally Fulk 
of Anjou, king of Jerusalem. This nascent hos- 
tility might have become fatal both for the Ar- 
menians and the Franks, for the infidels were 
only waiting for a favorable moment to swoop 
down on both belligerents. Joscelin II, Count 
of Edessa, whose father had married Leo's sister. 
intervened and brought about an honorable agreement for both sides 
(1137). .An alliance was drawn up against Emperor Jean II Comnenu> 
who was then laying claims to Antioch and Cilicia (2). 

During these disputes between the Latins and Armenians over a few 
towns in Cilicia, war continued with the Turks. Michael the Syrian (3) 


(1) On the lower Djihan. 

(2) SEMPAD, ann. 585-587. 

(3) Op. cit. 349. 

— 199 — 

wrote: "In the year 584 [1135-1136] Baron Stephen, Baron Thoros* 
"brother, arrived under the walls of Marasch, and his troops eifecting an 
"entrance during the night were received in the homes of those of the in- 
"habitants who were Christian. This surprise attack was arranged by 
"a priest of the city with whom Baron Stephen was in collusion. At 
"dawn his soldiers seized the place and massacred the Turks inside the 
"walls. Flushed with their victory, they proceeded to insult those who 
"were inside the citadel and openly dishonored their wives. God in His 
"wrath therefore did not give the citadel into their hands. They then 
"set fire to the town and taking away with them the Christians of the 
"place advanced into the interior." 

Also Abulfaradj, relating the same events, adds: "The Turks on 
"coming back showed some humanity and not only treated peacefully 
"the Christians that remained but also restored to the Armenian fugitives 
"that returned their houses, vineyards and fields. But a priest of that 
"nation whom they suspected of having been in collusion with his com- 
"patriots was flayed alive. After three days they cut off his tongue, hands, 
"and feet, and threw him into the flames. The Armenians incensed at 
"this cruelty put some Turks to death in the 
"same manner." 

Turkish hostility towards the Armenians was 
moreover paid for in gold by the Byzantine court 
which, according to Cinnamus (1), maintained 
as ever its designs on Cilicia and Antioch. John 
II Comnenus had purposed leaving the throne 
of Constantinople to his elder son, and wished 
to give the younger an appanage consisting of 
Cilicia, Antioch, Attalia, and Cyprus. But Alexis 
and his younger brother, Andronicus Sebasto- 
crator, both died and the crown fell to Manuel. (2) 


Despite the Armenian army's alliance with the 
princes of Antioch, the Greeks invaded Cilicia, de- 
feated the Crusaders and Leo whose vassals gave 
him little support, and occupied the whole plain ad- 
jacent to Adana and the Gulf of Issus. The baron and his family and 


(1) I. X. 

(2) Ed. DELAURIER, Histoire des croisades. Documents armeniens, vol. I, p. 
156 note 1. 

200 - 

companions fled into the Taurus mountains. All the Armenians' newly 
conquered cities and their home centers, Anazarbus and even Vahka, fell 
to the Emperor. Leo, reduced to the last extremity, had to surrender to 
the victor with his family, and he was hauled to Constantinople, where he 
died (1141). The Greeks killed his eldest son, Rupen, after having first 
blinded him. 

From 1137 to 1145 the Byzantines ruled all Cilicia, 
THOROS II and the princes of Antioch and counts of Edessa had their 
1145-1169 hands too full meeting the attacks of the infidels to think 
about restoring the kingdom of their former allies. One 
of Leo's sons, Thoros, who was a prisoner in Constantinople, was still 
quite young at the time of his family's disaster, and gave the Byzantine 
court no apprehension. His gracious manners had even won him favor 
there. When Manuel I Comnenus (1143) succeeded his father as em- 
peror, the young baron felt the time was ripe to throw off the yoke. He 
fled, disguised as a merchant on a Genoese or Venetian ship, and reached 
Cyprus, from where he sailed on to Antioch. There Prince Raymond and 
the monophysite Patriarch Athanasius VHI provided him with the where- 
withal to make the attempt he had long contemplated. Setting out from 
Antioch with a small escort he reached the Amanus mountains and soon 
rallied to his standard the malcontents and outlaws like himself, to the 
number of several thousand, sufficient to carry off a few initial successes, 
which brought to his standard all the Armenians in his father's former 

Vahram of Edessa, in his rhymed chronicle (1), has left us quite 
a romantic picture of the young baron and his arrival in the land of his 

"The household of the Imperial palace claim that Thoros stayed 
"until a Greek princess fell in love with him and gave him treasures which 
"he took away. On reaching the mountains of Cilicia, he met a priest 
"to whom he confided the secret that he was Leo's son. The priest wel- 

(1) verses 417436. 

— 201 - 

"corned him with joy, and sent him out as a herdsman. The Armenians 
"remaining in the country dwelt in the mountains, and suffering as they 
''were from Greek oppression they earnestly longed for the return of their 
"former rulers. Learning from the priest that their beloved prince hau 
"come back, they at once gathered together and hailed Thoros as their 

Whilst Emperor John Comnenus was subduing Cillcia and approach- 
ing Antioch, the Moslems were devastating the districts adjacent to the 
Crusaders and threatening the Latins. The Byzantines had joined up 
with the Turks to overthrow the power of the Westerners, destroy the 
Armenian baronies, and drive the non-Orthodox Christians out of Asia, 
so fierce was religious hatred in Constantinople. When the Turks, how- 
ever, entered the territory of Kescoun within the Empire, the Basileus 
could not stomach the affront and the Byzantine alliance with the nomads 
came to an end. 

Matthew of Edessa, in his chronicle (2) relates the events leading 
up to the despatch of a Greek army to the province of Marasch: 

"In the year 585 [1135-1137], Sultan Mohammed, the son of Amir- 
"Gazi, the son of Danischmend, arrived with a large army in the region 
"of Marasch near Kescoun and there set fire to the villages and monas- 
"teries ... He kept quiet, refrained from attacking the city, and contented 
"himself with cutting off the waters of the river, pillaging gardens, making 
"desultory raids and gathering and safely storing the booty he took. The 
"city's inhabitants, however, who were daily expecting to be attacked, 
"became so grievously discouraged that one night they abandoned the 
"outer rampart. Their leaders and priests succeeded in reviving their 
"courage . . . The infidels received no (divine) command to invest and 
"attack the city, and on the Friday, the day of our Lord's passion, Kescoun 
"was delivered. The enemy burned Garmirvank (the Red Monastery), 
""the chapel and the monks' cells, broke the wooden and stone crosses, 
"and took the iron and brass crosses. He demolished the altars . . . and 
"scattered the remains. He carried off the door with its wonderful spiral 
"carvings, along with other objects, and carted them away to his own 
"country to show them to his concubines and the populace . . . Mohammed 

(2) Op. cit. vol. 1, p. 150. 

— 202 

"beat a sudden retreat when he learned that the Roman Emperor [John 
"Comnenus] was hastening to the relief of besieged Kescoun and to the 
"assistance of our count Baldwin who had implored him on his knees. 
"The Emperor was already nearing Antioch, laying waste the Moslem land. 
"After deposing our prince Leo, he seized Leo's cities and fortresses, and 
"taking him prisoner, carried him off to the Greek lands beyond the sea 
"and the extremity of Asia." 

Whatever the circumstances of Thoros' return to Cilicia, he found his 
country garrisoned by the Byzantines and his fellow-countrymen sub- 

The first city he recaptured was said to be Amuda (1), followed by 
Anazarbus, Adana, Sis, Arewdzpert, Partzerpert. Meanwhile, however, 
on December 23 rd, 1144, Edessa was taken by Eimad-ed-Din Zangui, 
and the princes of Antioch, fully occupied on their eastern borders, could 
give no assistance to the young Armenian baron. Only his two brothers, 
Stepane and Mleh, who before the fall of Edessa had taken refuge with 
their cousin Joscelin II, came to his side to share his perils and fortune. 
The new uprising in Cilicia, meanwhile, caused Emperor Manuel some 
concern and he sent 12,000 men from Constantinople under his cousin An- 
dronicus Comnenus (1152). This army was defeated by Thoros before 
the walls of Mamestia which he was besieging. 

Humiliated by this defeat and not daring to take further risks, Em- 
peror Manuel resorted to trickery, and by wily procedure induced the 
Seljuk Sultan of Iconium, Masaoud I (1116-1156), to attack the Ar- 
menians in Cilicia. 

In those days, and among these Eastern peoples, compositions of 
this kind were quite customary. The Seljuks were the enemies of the 

(1) Tumlo-Qalessi. Cf. MICHAEL THE SYRIAN, transl. LANGLOIS, p. SOT- 

203 — 

•-^^r-v- . 

Map.":--- ;V':^.iS':i- 


Greeks, and were planted In the very center of the Empire; they were 
a threat to the capital itself; they were Moslem and consequently sworn 
enemies of all Christians, and there was no doubt that the Turks would 
keep Cilicia if they succeeded in conquering it. Yet none of these con- 
siderations, which we today would consider paramount, had any influ- 
ence with the Greeks. Manuel's only desire was to avenge the disgrace 
just inflicted on him, and the Moslem Sultan who could but rejoice over 
the dissensions between the various Christians, invaded Cilicia. Thoros 
was forced to recognize his suzerainty. 

In 1156, however, on some flimsy pretext, Masaoud again sent an 
army against the Armenians under the command of one of his chiefs 
named lakhoub. This general was defeated by the Crusaders and by 
Thoros' own army. Taken by surprise in the gorges between the Amanus 
chain and the sea, the Moslems suffered a bloody reverse. The remnants 
of this expedition withdrew, but proceeded to ravage the districts of 
Kharput and Marasch. Then resuming the offensive, they laid siege to 
the castle of Till of Hamdoun, near Sis, at which point the plague broke 

— 204 — 



out in the Turkish ranks and the Armenians were easily victorious over 
them. In the meantime, Masaoud died, and his son Aseddin Kilidj- 
Arslan II (1156-1193) made peace with Thoros, who remained in pos- 
session of CiHcia and Isauria. 

But a new storm was yet about to break over this 
war-ravaged country. Raynald of Chatillon, who had 
become the guardian of the young prince Bohemond 
III, by reason of his marriage with Constance, the wi- 
dow of Raymond of Poitiers, — according to Michael 
the Syrian — attacked Thoros on the ground that the 
Armenian baron had refused to restore to the Templars 
the castle of Gastim, formerly taken from the knights 
by the Greeks and recently captured by Thoros. This 
castle which commanded the gorges of the Portella. 
between the Amanus chain and the sea, was of the 
greatest strategic value both for the Armenians and the 
princes of Antioch. The Byzantines, moreover, frus- 
trated in their attempts to have New Armenia crushed 
by the Seljuks, were secretly inciting the Crusaders 
against Thoros. 

Matthew's chronicle continues: "Raynald [of Chatillon] had a dispute 
"with Baron Thoros concerning a fortress [Gastim] which the Greeks 
"had taken from the brethren [the Templars] and had been seized in turn 
"by Thoros from the Greeks. Raynald contended: 'The brethren are 
"fighting for our common Christian cause; restore unto them that which 
"is theirs.' A battle took place near Isenderun [Alexandretta], and many 
"perished on both sides. Raynald had to return home feeling disgraced. 




205 — 

V _ /A tlVI . 1//. V^l. iJ ' 




"Later on Thoros himself gave up to the brethren the fortresses on the 
"borders of Antioch, and they promised under oath that they would 
"help the Armenians whenever they needed succor." (1) 

Raynald of Antioch, who had only attacked the Armenians at Byzan- 
tium's instigation, felt warranted in asking Emperor Manuel to reim- 
burse him for the expenses of this conflict, but, without repudiating the 
debt, the Basileus answered the Prince in dilatory language that exas- 
perated him. He therefore determined to take payment himself by some 

means, and he bethought himself of 
the island of Cyprus. 

The harbors of Cyprus com- 
manded the coasts of Syria and south- 
ern Asia Minor, and the island was 
consequently a most vital position for 
the Crusaders. Though conquered 
A.D. 649 by the Arabs, it had since 
been regained by the Byzantines. Oust- 
ing the Greeks from there would se- 
cure both the princes of Antioch and the barons of Cilicia against any 
further Byzantine offensive on Latin shores, and would give them besides 
a first-class naval base out of reach of the infidels. The Cyprus expedi- 
tion should not, therefore, be ascribed to mere bad temper on Prince Ray- 
nald's part, as most chroniclers of the time picture it, but to a decision that 
had been long contemplated by the Franks, who were only awaiting a 
favorable opportunity to undertake the enterprise. On their part the 
Armenians would not have been at all displeased to be rid of a Greek 
stronghold facing the shore they so much coveted, and which they had 
several times already conquered, lost, and reconquered. Circumstances 
did not allow, however, of the conquest of the island just then, and it was 
possible only to carry out a quick raid on it, lay it waste, and loot its 

In 1155-1156 the Crusaders' fleet landed on the Cyprus coast a veri- 
table army of Latins and Armenians, and the Greeks who maintained 
only small numbers of troops on the island were immediately hustled out 
of their positions. The entire island was overrun by the invaders who 
behaved with the most frightful cruelty. All possessions were seized by 

(1) MICHAEL THE SYRIAN. Histoire des Croisades, Documents armen., vol. 
I, p. 340. 

206 — 


the victors, many of the inhabitants were slaughtered, the Greek women 
and maidens were the prey of the soldiers, and priests and bishops were 
massacred. All persons of means were transferred to the continent and 
only released upon payment of enormous ransom. In short, the Cru- 
saders and Armenians acted towards these Christians exactly as infidels 
would have done in the circumstance, but it must be remembered that 
both the Franks and the Armenians had long been weary of Byzantium's 
treacheries, and their hatred of the Greeks 
was just as fierce, if not more so, than that 
of the Moslems. 

The war, moreover, was not confined to 
the island. In 1157, Raynald of Antioch, 
Count Thierry of Flanders, and Thoros 
laid siege to Cheizar (Caesarea) on the Or- 
ontes. Perfect understanding then reigned 
between the Armenians and the Franks. 

Manuel Comnenus could not reconcile 
himself to the ravaging of Cyprus and got 
ready to avenge himself on the Crusaders 

and Thoros. He himself with 50,000 men invaded Cilicia in 1158, and Ana- 
zarbus. Till of Hamdoun, Tarsus, and the castle of Lamos fell to the 
Byzantines. Finding it impossible to defend his realm, Thoros with- 
drew into the Taurus mountains behind the walls of the castle of Dad- 
jeghikhar. Raynald of Antioch and Baldwin III of Jerusalem, Manuel's 
nephew by his marriage with Theodora, the daughter of the Emperor's 
brother Isaac, interceded for the Armenian baron, and Manuel feeling 
that if he did not spare the Franks' protege he might have all the Cru- 
saders up against him, ratified Thoros' tenure of most of his dominion, 
but on condition that he recognize him as his suzerain. This feudal 
tie seems to have been nominal rather than actual, although the new 

Palatine, of the PanSebastos (The Most Au- 
gust), apparently remained a dutiful liegeman, 

The fact that Thoros refrained from any 
further open hostilities against the Greeks did 
not prevent his brother Stepane, however, who 
cared nothing for the Baron's promises, from 
heading bands of Armenians that laid waste 
Imperial territory and waged war in the dis- 


— 207 — 

tricts of Marasch and Cocuse. This prince succumbed to stratagem, for 
he was invited to a banquet by Andronicus, the governor of Tarsus, and 
there slain. Thereupon Thoros to avenge his brother ordered the mas- 
sacre of all Greeks within his borders. War would have broken out 
afresh between the Armenians and the Byzantines had not Amaury I, 
king of Jerusalem, intervened. Disheartened by the country's misfor- 
tunes, the Armenian baron abdicated. 

In 1169 "Thoros, prince of Cilicia, died, shortly after becoming a 
''monk. He left an infant son whom he named his successor and whose 
"guardianship he had entrusted to Thomas, the son of his maternal aunt, 
"Mleh, wroth at being passed over from his brother's succession, repaired 
"to Nur-ed-Din, and with a body of Turks the latter gave him he invaded 
"Cilicia. He carried away 16,000 people, boys and girls, men and women, 
"priests, monks, and bishops, all taken to Aleppo, where he sold them to 
"the slave-merchants and distributed the money to the Turkish soldiers 
^ ... He put out the eyes, and cut off hands and feet, of bishops and 

"many notables, besides flaying them, and 
"their bodies were left a prey for wild 
"beasts." (1) 

Mleh had already entered the Order of 
the Knights Templars, but later, after at- 
tempting the life of his brother Thoros, he 
had to flee. He took refuge at the 
court of the Atabeg of Aleppo, having for- 
sworn his faith. As a Moslem he ob- 
tained Nur-ed-Din's assistance and over- 
ran the greater part of Cilicia. Faced wltli 

such disaster, Rupen's guardian offered the 

usurper a share of his nephew's barony. 

Mleh accepted this offer under oath, and 

then proceeded to grasp the whole power. 

Thomas the Regent fled to Antioch and 

placed Rupen in the care of the Patriarch 

Nerses at Roncla, but soon afterwards the COIN OF EL SALIH-ISMAIL, 

young prmce was murdered. ALEPPO (1173-1181) 


(1) ABULFARADJ, p. 365 and 370. 

— 208 

The reign of Mleh (1170-1175), the renegade 
MLEH, BARON and assassin, was but one series of horrors and 

1170-1175 crimes. Backed by the Atabeg of Aleppo, El Salih- 

Isma'il, he was more than a match not only for the 
Crusaders, Amaury of Jerusalem and Bohemond III of Antioch, but also 
for the Byzantines, so much so that Emperor Manuel made a treaty of 
peace with the usurper, yielding to him New Armenia (1173). Uni- 
versally hated, the tyrant was at last slain by his own soldiers in the city 
of Sis (2). 

There is nothing so tangled or involved as the history of the East 
at this period when there were so many rival and conflicting interests. 
The Greeks alternately incited the Crusader rulers against one another, 
and the Moslems against the Christians, only to make temporary alliances 
with their most formidable enemies, and then, changing their tactics, to 
negotiate with their foes and take up arms against their allies of the day 
before. Not only at Byzantium were treachery and perjury rampant and 
all pervading, but throughout the Eastern world, and contact with the 
Levantines had dulled the sense of honor of even the Latins. The Moslems 
had no pity whatever for the Christians whom they 
lumped together in their contempt. About this time the 
famous Saladin issued a decree in Egypt forbidding any 
Infidels to ride, whether on horseback or on mules, and 
commanded Christians to wear continually a belt so that 
Moslems could at once distinguish them from the true 
believers (1). 

Notwithstanding the constant humiliations the Mos- 
lems put upon them, the Byzantines at times treated their 
rulers with great marks of consideration, showing a pusil- 
lanimity that only increased the latter's contempt for 

The Sultan of Iconlum "Kilijd-Arslan having learned 
"that Yakoub-Arslan and the other Emirs were planning to overthrow him 
"and put his brother in his stead, visited Constantinople where he was re- 
"ceived sumptuously. He stayed there nearly three months. Twice a 
"day viands were served him on gold and silver dishes which were left 





p. 325-326.— ABULFARADJ, Chron, Syr., p. 365.— GUILLAUME OF TYRE., XX. 

(1) MICHAEL THE SYRIAN, op. cit. I, p. 365. 

209 — 

"him as gifts. On one occasion, while dining with the Emperor, the latter 
"offered him all the table service and decorations, not counting other gifts 
"at the same time, both to him and the thousand or so Turks of his escort 


The Greeks according to the Arab and Byzantme chroniclers gave 
magnificent fetes in the Sultan's honor. "Above a splendidly decorated 
"platform stood a solid gold throne enhanced with diamonds and jacinths 
"and other precious stones surrounded by dazzlingly white pearls. An 
"abundance of lights caused all these jewels to blaze with brightness. 
"On the throne sat in all his majesty the Emperor clothed with a purple 
"mantle on which were exquisite artistic designs made of pearls and dia- 
"monds. On his chest, suspended to a gold chain, hung a pink stone as 
"large as an apple. On either side stood the members of the Senate in 
"the order of their respective State functions. Kilidj-Arslan on entering 

"was overwhelmed with so much splendor 
"and refused at first to be seated despite 
"the Emperor's insistence; finally he took 
"a modest seat. During his stay at Manuel's 
"court he was housed in one of the palaces 
"in the southern part of Constantinople. All 
"the pleasures of the Imperial City were of- 
"fered him, tournaments, amphitheatre 
"games and contests, and Greek-fire dis- 
"plays. (1) ^ 

Such was the deference paid by the Imperial Court to the barbarian 
who from Iconium was threatening all eastern Christendom, who had 
never ceased harassing the Greek empire as well as Cilicia and the Cru- 
saders, and who in 1148-1149 had taken Marasch, sacked the city and 
its churches, and in defiance of his plighted word had massacred the 
Prankish knights, bishops, and priests, and most of the inhabitants, 
whom he had solemnly sworn to protect (2). What were the Turks to 
think of these Byzantines who displayed merely their wealth, instead of 
armies that might hold them in respect? Far from frightening them by 
his prestige, Manuel only excited their greed. He gave them encourage- 
ment not only to fight Cilicia and the Crusaders, but to attack the Greeks 



(1) Cf. CINNAMUS, V. vi.— NICETAS CHONIATES, Manuel Comnenns, chap. 


(2) cf. ABULFARADJ, Chron. Syr., p. 343. 


themselves, even supplying them with the funds with which to tutu 
against both the Franks and himself. 

Contemporaneous writers have not recorded the promises the Sultan 
made to the Emperor, but events speak for themselves. 

Rupen II (1175-1187), the son of Stepane and neph- 
RUPEN II ew of Thoros II and Mleh, was chosen by the nobles of 
BARON New Armenia to succeed his wicked uncle, just when th'j 

(1175-1187) great Saladin who held all Egypt and part of Syria was 
preparing to drive the Crusaders into the sea. All the 
Christian principalities then had the Moslems to meet, Cilicia being 
threatened by Manuel's whilom guest, Kilidj-Arslan. Feeling unequal 
to the struggle, the new Armenian ruler in 1180 bought the enemy off. 
Hardly had the latter withdrawn from his frontier, however, than the 
Prince of Antioch and Hetum, Seignior of Lampron, at the instigation of 
Manuel Comnenus, started hostiHties against Rupen. The baron, in order 
to crush Hetum who held the mountain passes and was always so ready 
to open them to the Greeks, sent his brother Leo to besiege him in his 
lair. Bohemond III came to his ally's help, and by 
treachery captured Rupen, only restoring him his free- 
dom at the instance of Hetum whom Leo was seriously 
threatening inside Lampron. The Armenian Baron had 
to pay thirty thousand dinars ransom and give up the 
cities of Adana and Mamestia to the principality of 

Rupen had married Isabel, the daughter of Hum- 
frey III, prince of Karak and Toron, and was more 
friendly than hostile to the Crusaders. He was a just 
and pious ruler and founded a number of religious houses 
in his realm. Disillusioned by the faithlessness of his 
times, he abdicated in favor of his brother Leo (1187), be- 
came a monk and withdrew to the monastery of Traz- 
argh, where he died after a few months. 



— 211 


BARON 1187 


Very grave events were then transpiring in the East. 
On the 2nd of October, 1187, Salah-ed-Din (Saladin) took 
Jerusalem. Edessa and Acre had been in infidel hands 
for some time, and Tripoli and Antioch were about to fall. 
Unless Europe could come to their help, the Crusaders and 
the Cilicia barony would inevitably disappear in the tem- 
pest. The Latin East was doomed unless the western 
princes raised a new Crusade to meet the storm, retake the 
Holy Places and set up on the Syrian coast solid States 
that could hold their own against the Moslem power 
of Egypt. 






The vital necessity of facing 
this new situation was the prime 
concern of the European courts 
and the Pope expended every 
energy in bringing about a new 
expedition. The Emperor of Germany, the King of 
France, and the King of England responded to his call, 
and Frederick I Barbarossa, took the leadership of the Crusade. On 
his arrival in Asia, by way of Macedonia, the Emperor crossed the terri- 
tory of the Baron of Armenia in order to reach Antioch and thence Pales- 
tine. Cilicia and the principality on the Orontes had to be his military 
base, constituting as they did along with Tripoli the sole remnants of the 
conquests of the first and second Crusades and of the Armenians. 

Leo saw in this tremen- 
dous expedition against the 
Moslems an excellent chance 
to expand his power, add to 
his prestige, and obtain at the 
hands of the Western rulers a 
royal crown in exchange for 
his baronial coronet. Never 
dreaming that such a great 
enterprise could possibly be 
short-lived, he glimpsed the 
vision of a Western Asia carved up into Christian States, and it was not 
his intention to be the vassal of any Latin prince. The future king of New 


— 212 

Armenia looked forward to being an intermediary between the Byzantine 
Empire and the Syrian principalities. He accordingly lost no time in 
supplying the Crusaders with provi- 
sions, transportation, and guides, and 
lavished all he could on the Frankish 
nobles, supplying them with military 
assistance. This alliance, moreover, 
strengthened his baronial position in 
regard to the Greek Emperor. It 
would enable him, he hoped, to deal 
one day on equal terms with the 
Byzantine Court. 


By actions as well as promises 
Leo had won Frederick over to his 
side, and also gained the good graces 
of the Pope. The Emperor of Ger- 
many had promised him the desired 
crown. This monarch, however, met 
his death in the icy waters of the 

Calycadnus (Gheuk-sou). Thereupon the baron of Armenia looked to- 
wards his son Henry VI. However, Leo could not feel satisfied with a 
grant of kingship from the leader of the Crusade, even though a mighty 
Emperor. He felt that anything given him by the Frankish rulers might 
be withdrawn from him one day; therefore he sought to hold his crown 
from the Pope whose voice had much more weight with Christendom 
than that of any temporal sovereign, and whose authority would place 
him and his successors beyond any possibility of dethronement. He 
accordingly sent an embassy to Celestlne III in 1195 to ask the Sovereign 
Pontiff to give him his blessing and the regal sovereignty of Armenia. 

The arrival of the Third Crusade inside Cilicia and the territory of 
Antloch marked the beginning of a new era for the Armenians, and the 

— 213 — 


Moslem bands and the Imperial troops both ceased for a time from raid- 
ing Leo's dominion. Both the infidels and Constantinople were watching 
events, and the Moslems, like the 
Greeks, were preparing to meet the 
new exigencies of a situation they 
could not yet clearly outline but 
knew to be a coming severe test. 
A new Latin kingdom was 
about to emerge, not at the expense 
of the infidels, but by stripping the 
Empire of one of its provinces. In 
the spring of 1191, King Richard 

of England who had sailed from Sicily with his fleet was compelled by 
bad weather to put into Cyprus where a prince of the Comneni, named 
Isaac, had set himself up as independent. This Greek was a tyrant to 
his subjects and a barbarian towards all strangers. Learning of the ship- 
wreck of an English ship, he rushed to Limassol in the hope of seizing 


214 — 




by ruse or force the persons of Berengaria of Navarre, King Richard's 
betrothed, and her sister-in-law Joan of Sicily, whose vessel had run 

aground. The ship got clear, however, 
and rejoined the English fleet. Infuriated at 
such an outrage, Richard disembarked at Li- 
massol and within a few weeks had possession 
of the whole island, capturing the despotic 
Isaac and his family, together with all his 
treasures. The English king then set sail again 
for the Holy Land, leaving Guy of Lusignan 
as the first king of Cyprus. This time the 
Latins were favored by circumstances. Rich- 
ard had nothing to fear from the Emperors, 
who were becoming continually weaker and 
who ten years later had to seek safety for their crown at Nicaea. Besides, 
Cyprus was a nest of pirates and spies, and Isaac in his hatred for the 
Latins had lost no opportunity to injure them in his relations with Saladin 
and the other Moslem rulers. His downfall could only help the Western 

The interference of Latin Christians in Eastern af- 
fairs during the two first Crusades, and Frederick's march 
through the Empire had greatly ruffled the Greeks, and 
it was a question at Constantinople whether it would not 
be better to join up with the Saracens and Turks and drive 
from Asia the flood of Catholics that Western Europe 
was sending out to conquer the holy places. The Em- 
perors felt that Moslem invasion of their provinces meant 
only temporary occupation of the Imperial realm, where- 
as they feared the Crusaders' conquests might be perma- 
nent, and the third Crusade headed by an Emperor and 
two auxiliary kings promised to be much more serious 
than the preceding ones. 

Had the Greeks joined the Crusaders and fought the 
ambitious Moslem leaders, undoubtedly the Turkish invasion would have 
been confined to the eastern provinces of what is today Turkey-in-Asia, 
the Christian kingdoms of Syria and New Armenia would have been 
maintained and Constantinople would probably have never fallen Into 
the hands of the enemies of Western civilization. But the fanaticism and 
intolerance of the Orthodox Greeks, the pride of the Emperors, their 




dynastic and religious hatred, all blinded the Byzantine court and by 
their intrigues the Greeks not only were heading for ruin but were seri- 
ously endangering the civilized world. 

Leo had realized that he could no longer pursue the free-lance policy 
of his predecessors and hold the balance between the Greeks and the Cru- 
saders. His desire for royal rank compelled him to take sides, but his 
main difficulty lay in the religious beliefs of his people whose ritual 
separated them both from the Byzantine cult and that of Rome. He 
must therefore effect a rapprochement with one or the other of these two 
Churches, if he was to secure a crown and thus estabUsh his nation's 

He started simultaneous negotiations with the Papacy and Byzan- 
tium. In the latter city, however, the Orthodox clergy showed themselves 
unyielding. The religious quarrel between the Armenians 
and the Greeks dated from the early centuries of Christianity. 
In Greater Armenia they had frequently been very bitter, 
and both at Constantinople and Sis they remained painful 
memories. The Armenian people hated the Greeks for their 
oppression and cruelty, and for their treachery and the in- 
tolerance with which they had always met any overtures on 
the part of the Bagratid rulers. The conversations which 
were commenced at Leo's bidding had, consequently, but 
very little chance of success. 

The Baron reflected, however, that his interests lay 
rather in the direction of Byzantium than in that of the 
Western powers, who after all were at a great distance and 
whose efforts had just sustained a setback by the entry of 
Sultan Saladin into the arena. The Greek Empire still en- 
joyed considerable prestige despite its present dilapidated 
condition. If he received his crown from the Basileus, he 
would be linking Armenia's destiny with that of Constanti- 
nople, and forging an alliance with what he still looked on as a great 
power, enabling him perhaps one day to regain Greater Armenia and 
form a State extending from the Gulf of Alexandretta to the Caspian Sea, 
capable of blocking any Moslem invasion of Byzantium. There was the 
Sultanate of Iconium in the centre of Asia Minor, it was true, but the 
Seljuks once caught between the Greeks and the Armenians must surely 
fall, and the kingdom of New Armenia would become the bastion of the 
Orthodox world. This dream was shattered by the failure, easy to fore- 
see, of the negotiations of the bishops sent to Constantinople. 

— 216 — 

(from the 
phy of 1511) 

" 'I am asked,' wrote the Catholicos Nerses to Michael the Syrian (1) 
" *to recognize two natures in Jesus Christ and to honor the fourth Council, 
"to celebrate the birth of Christ on the 25th of December, and the Mass 
"with leavened bread and water, and not to use the words: God, Holy, 
"Who wast crucified. On these conditions we are promised [by Emperor 
"Manuel] great benefactions.' " 

Faced with the exactingness of the Byzantine clergy, Leo turned to 
the West, but in so doing he was following a totally opposite political 
line for New Armenia's future, one altogether counter to that of a Greek 
alliance. The Greek emperors in their hostility to the Crusaders behaved 
so deceitfully to the Westerners that soon the Latins would have to oc- 
cupy Constantinople itself if they wanted to stop Greek intrigue. By 
applying to Rome, Leo was espousing the cause of the European rulers, 
identifying himself with their acts, and casting his lot in with theirs in 
the East. It was a serious decision, but the baron was ambitious of be- 
coming king, and the Latins flattered his hopes, consequently he pushed 
on his negotiations with the Pope and the royal Crusaders. 

Rome, on the other hand, could hardly fail to derive the greatest 
satisfaction from seeing a native kingdom formed in the East based on 
Latin culture and the Latin worship. The new State would give the 
Crusaders a strong bridgehead and facilitate the growth of the princi- 
palities of Syria and Palestine. The latter were envisaged as destined to 
last forever and to extend by degrees their dominion over all Western 
Asia, thus protecting Europe from Moslem invasion. Papal sagacity was 
not deceived, and the western monarchs likewise had no illusions, con- 
cerning the fate of the Byzantine Empire. They knew it was irretriev- 
ably lost, and expected it to be replaced by a Latin State able to safe- 
guard the Bosphorus, keep watch over it, and prevent the Moslems en- 
tering Europe from that direction. The conquest of Spain and Sicily 
by the Saracens, their thrust to the very heart of France, had carried 
a serious warning to the Catholic Christians, and any support for their 
arms in the East was welcome. So Leo's ambitions found a favorable 
response not only from the throne of St. Peter but in every European 
court. It was essential, nevertheless, that Rome should not demand too 
much in the way of reforming the Armenian ritual, for the people were 
very attached to their ancient worship and customs and would have great 
difficulty in giving up their ancestral ways. The clergy clung to its pre- 

(1) Op. cit. 1, p. 367. 

— 217 

rogatives and some of the nobles looked askance not only at any relin- 
quishment of a religious segregation that had acquired for them national 
significance, but also on the creation of royal authority to take the place 
of the former seigniorial tenure which they were sometimes so apt to set 
at naught. 

Leo had received from his maternal uncle Paguran an education 
that was decidedly more Greek than Armenian, for the nobles of Baberon 
and Lampron had remained loyal to the Byzantine emperors. This is 
proved by the fact that Leo, signed his name in Greek followed by his 
royal title in Armenian. His 
contact with the Byzantines 
is also undoubtedly respon- 


sibJe tor his bemg recep- 
tive to wide political con- V^ '^ ^4 LI 
ceptions and for his ambi- 
tion of one day wearing the fIRST^KING^OF^W^ARMENIA 
crown. The barons who 
preceded him, secluded in 

their mountains and with few contacts except with Prankish nobles and 
Moslem emirs had hitherto had no aims beyond extending their power 
and their territory, gathering treasure, and withstanding the encroach- 
ments of their dangerous neighbors. Leo saw much further; his desire 
was for a king's crown so that he might treat on a footing of equality 
with Byzantine Emperors, Sultans, Caliphs, and European sovereigns. 

Negotiations dragged on slowly. In 1 196 Leo wrote once more to 
Henry VI, Emperor of Germany. "When Livons [Leo] saw that he 
"[Henry] was the supreme leader, and that he held no tenure from him, 
"he sent his envoy to the Emperor Henry in Apulia where he was, with 
"a message, offering him homage and saying that he wished to hold from 
"him his land of Armenia; and begged him that he send him the crown 
"and acknowledge him as a king. The Emperor received the message 
"with great pleasure, and accepted the homage, promising him that he 
"would crown him when he crossed the sea." (1) 

In addition this aspirant to royal rank communicated his desire to 
all the nobles of the Crusade, and contrived to get support In all direc- 
tions. "The Lord of Armenia said to Count Henry [Duke of Champagne 

(1) GUILLAUME OF TYRE, cont'd. XXVI. 27. 

— 218 — 

"and King of Jerusalem]: '1 have land enough, cities and castles and 
"large revenues, sufficient to be a king. As the Prince of Antioch is my 
"liegeman [feudatory], I beg of you that you crown me." 

iVIeanwhile continuous correspondence went on between Rome and 
the king, and frequent embassies were sent to the Pope who ordered his 
legates to examine the question and discuss matters with the high dig- 
nitaries of the Armenian Church. Once before, in the middle of the I2th 
century under Eugene III, the Holy See had studied carefully the pos- 
sibility of a rapprochement of the Armenian Church and the Papacy, and 
a letter from Pope Lucius III (1185) addressed to the Catholicos Gre- 
gory IV Degha, of which Nerses of Lampron has handed us down a 
translation, shows how far at that time negotiations had already ad- 
vanced. The bishop wrote: "In the year 634 of the Armenian era there 
"arrived Gregory, the bishop of Philippopolis, sent by the Roman Pope 
"Lucius to our Catholicos Gregory. He brought him the answer to our 
"Monsignor's [Catholicos'] letter and the book containing the usages or 
"ritual of the Church, in Latin characters." 

Another letter written by Pope Clement III four years later (1189) 

to Baron Leo, begins thus: 

^ yr-i *^T^>J« GXePC*-; "Clement, Bishop, Servant 

*if ' /-^^j * / '"of the servants of God, to 

XjjOa-'-rOOcA-'yrO crO>J^- -'our well beloved son, the 

'"illustrious Prince of the 
"Mountains (Leo), greet- 
"ings and apostolic bless- 
"ings," and the Pope ex- 
horted the x^rmenian baron 
to take part in delivering 
the holy places. 

This exchange of let- 
ters with the Pope did not 
prevent Leo, however, from 
negotiating at the same 
time with Constantinople, 
and from sending the Pa- 
triarch Nerses and Baron 
Paul in 1 197 to discuss mat- 
ters of religion with Alexis 
Comnenus. Nerses wrote 

J1 ;>!LDW -ttcsju 
^vO U TO U 0JS, ou C« ' 


— 219 

on that occasion to his prince as follows: "After discussing things with 
"them [the Greeks], we found them ignorant, rude, and materialistic, 
"as stubborn as Jews unwilling to serve God by the renewal of the Holy 
"Ghost, only in the oldness of the letter. Our spiritual goodwill was 
''grievously disheartened and we came away troubled and disappointed 
"in our pious hope." Leo was motivated, therefore, by political interest 
and not by any religious convictions. Had he met with more toleration 
at Byzantium, in all likelihood the Armenians would have adhered to 
the Greek ritual and the kingdom of New Armenia would have upheld 
the cause of the Emperors instead of that of the Crusaders. 

As early as 1196, some say, while the conversations at Constantinople 
were still on, Leo received from the Pope, whom he had asked both for a 
crown and for his people's adoption by the Roman Church, the gift of a 
gold crown in token that his prayer was granted. The 
Pope's stipulations for the Armenian Church consisted 
only of quite acceptable provisos regarding ritual plus 
the requirement that the Cathollcos send an envoy at 
regular stated Intervals to Rome to pay him homage. 
In this manner New Armenia drew closer to the Catho- 
lic Church and widened still further the gulf between 
itself and the Byzantine Empire. 





Moreover Leo, In spite of the need he had for the 
Crusaders prior to his coronation, did not always re- 
main on good terms with the Latins. This was particu- 
larly the case with the neighboring principality of An- 
tloch, the undetermined boundaries of which were al- 
ways causing strife. In 1194 he forestalled a plan of 

Bohemond III seeking to trap and capture him, 
by himself treacherously seizing that prince 
and the chief nobles of the court of Antioch, 
and locking them up in the Castle of Sis. 
Count Henry of Champagne, the Regent of 
the kingdom of Jerusalem, intervened and ob- 
tained Bohemond's freedom, but the Prince of 
Antioch had to agree to give back the terri- 
tory he had formerly taken from Rupen, and a 


— 220 

new alliance was sealed by the mar- 
riage of Alice, one of Rupen's daugh- 
ters, with Raymond III, the eldest son 
of Bohemond. It was set forth in the 
agreement that should Alice, Rupen 
II's daughter, bear a son, he should in- 
herit the throne of Antioch. A male 
child was born, and Raymond at his 
death In 1198 made his father swear to 
keep this promise. Raymond-Rupen, 

the son of Raymond and Alice, was then an infant, and Bohemond Ill's 
younger son, the Count of Tripoli, took advantage of his nephew's minor- 
ity and his father's years, to drive the old prince out of Antioch and seize 
power. This usurpation to the prejudice of a child under Leo's protection 
caused the Armenians to rise against the principality of Antioch, so that 
when Leo received the royal crown, he was openly at war with the usurper. 


Feuds of this kind, moreover, were not confined to the East. In 
France and England, and in all the feudal kingdoms of the West, there 
was constant strife among the nobility; European political manners were 
just as brutal as those of Asia. 


— 221 


The Kingdom of New Armenia (1199-1375) 



(1196 or 1199 

to 1219) 

On January 6th, 1199 (?) Cardinal Conrad of 
W ittelsbach, Archbishop of Mayence, the delegate 
of Pope Celestine III, presented to Baron Leo II, 
in the Church of the Holy Wisdom of Christ at 
Tarsus, the royal crown, and the Catholicos Abirad 
(1195-1203) crowned and anointed the new mon- 
arch who took the name and title of ''Leo I, by the grace of the Roman 
Emperor [Henry VT], King of Armenia." He thus proclaimed himself 
a feudatory of Western Europe represented by its leader, the Emperor of 
Germany. A few years after his accession, 
however, he felt irked by this vassalage, 
and took the title of "King by the grace of 

W^hen sending him the crown, the Pope 
asked the new king to consent to three con- 
ditions, all relating to the ritual divergencies 
between the Armenians and the Latins: 
First, he was to celebrate Christmas and 
Saints' days on the same dates as in the 
Latin Church; secondly, that matins and 
vespers be said in church, a custom the Ar- 
menians had long discontinued, in fact ever 
since the Ishmaelite (Arab) invasion — these 
services being observed only when mass was 
celebrated; and thirdly, the Christmas Eve 
and Easter fasts were to be broken only with 

fish and oil. " 'When you have adopted these rites,' " added the Cardinal 
" 'you need no longer worry about the gifts and dues you have to offer 
" 'the Emperor and the Pope in homage for your crown. If you refuse, 
" T am commanded to require from you very large sums in gold, silver, 
" 'and jewels'." 



— 222 — 

"Leo called the Catholicos and bishops together and asked them what 
'"reply he should make to the Latin proposals. They refused to accept 
''them, whereupon Leo told them: 'Do not worry. I will satisfy them 
" 'just for the present by appearing to give in to them.' Then he said to 
''the Roman Archbishop: 'We do accept immediately and unconditionally 
*' 'the instructions of the great Emperor and of the Sovereign Pontiff.' 
"The Archbishop demanded that the promise be ratified under oath by 
"twelve bishops, and Leo persuaded a dozen of his prelates to swear ac- 
"cordingly." (1) 

Leo's words to the Armenian clergy illustrate the policy he followed 
towards the Latins, a policy continued by his successors. Caught between 


the requirements of the Pope whom his paramount interest it was to con- 
ciliate and who demanded unity regarding dogma and various disciplinary 
points, and the tremendous opposition of the Armenian clergy and people, 
the Cilician sovereigns often were compelled to maneuver. Had they 
ridden roughshod over national prejudice, they would have come to a 
tragic end, as did later the Lusignans. (2) On both sides, Latin and Ar- 


(2) Cf. DULAURIER, op.cU., vol. I, p. 423. note 1. 

— 223 

menian, there was unyielding intolerance in these matters, and shameful 
hagglings entered into the discussion of religious convictions. Western 
fanaticism, aggravated by the Crusades, on the one hand, and Armenian 
traditions nationally enshrined, on the other, precluded any genuine coming 


Leo's coronation had considerable importance for the Byzantine court, 
for it meant New Armenia's definite exclusion from the vassalage of the 
Basileus, and any refusal to acknowledge the new king would have entailed 
open warfare with the Crusaders and consequently all Western Europe. 
As usual the Greeks preferred stratagem to force. 
Alexis III Angelus (1195-1203) copied the Latins 
by sending him gifts together with a crown, but his 
presents were accompanied with the following omin- 
ous counsel: "Put not upon thy head the crown 
"the Romans have sent thee, for thou art much 
"nearer to us than thou art to Rome." Byzantium's 
entire ensuing policy towards the Armenians is con- 
tained in those words. 

Leo's fondest wishes were realized, and all the 
rulers of Europe, besides the Basileus and even the 
Caliph of Bagdad, sent gifts and ambassadors to the new monarch. 

The chroniclers are not agreed as to the date of Leo's coronation. 



— 224 


Hetum places the ceremony between July 1197 and January 1198, but ac- 
cording to Latin historians the arrival of the Archbishop of Mayence, the 
legate of the Holy See, could only have taken place in 1199. Fifteen 
bishops and thirty-nine Armenian feudatory nobles were present at their 
sovereign's crowning, as well as a goodly number of knights of the 

The Frankish crown that he had just 
placed on his brow made no change in Leo's 
attitude towards the Latin principality. In 
1203 the new king of Armenia again took up 
arms for the throne of Antioch. Bohemond had 
died in 1201, and Leo laid claim to it for 
Rupen-Raymond, the son of Raymond III and 
Alice. The knights and principal citizens of 
Antioch had recognized Bohemond IV, Count 
of Tripoli, the younger son of Bohemond III, as their prince. Repelled 
by the Templars near Antioch, the king of Armenia had to content him- 
self for the time being with laying siege to their castle. 

The war between the Armenians and the above Order was waged 
for several years north of the cape which Is called today by the Arabs 

Ras-el-Khanzir, or The Boar's Promontory. 
Bohemond IV had entrusted the Knights 
Templars with the defense of the princi- 
pality of Antioch, while he himself endeav- 
ored to put down two vassals of his own 
in the earldom of Tripoli, one of whom he 
was besieging at the castle of Nephin. After 
many unsuccessful attempts Leo finally cap- 
tured Antioch through complicity on the 
part of the Seneschal, Acharie, with the result that in 1216 Peter II of 
Locedia crowned Raymond-Rupen as Prince of Antioch in the church 
of St. Peter of that city. 

Both enemy and ally, In turn, of the Templars and excommunicated 
by the Pope for refusing to restore to the Knights their cities which he 
had seized, Leo succeeded in having the pontifical sentence lifted and fin- 
ally, on August 5th, 1217, in inducing Pope Honorius III to place Rupen- 
Raymond's family and the principality of Antioch under the protection 
of the Holy See. 


— 225 — 

During his warfare with the Count of Tripoli, Leo contrived to ally 
himself with Theodore Lascaris, the Emperor of Nicaea, by giving him in 
marriage Philippine, the younger daughter of his brother Rupen. He took 
steps also to protect himself against the Moslems on his western border, 
for, beyond the Taurus mountains, the Seljuks who had carved out a 
kingdom for themselves in the fair 
provinces of central Asia Minor, still 
constituted a threat and hoped to 
reap advantage from Saladln's vic- 
tories over the Crusaders and from 
the current dissensions between the 
Armenians and the Latins. The rob- 
ber bands of their chief Rustem had 
even advanced to the walls of Sis, 
from where Leo drove them away 
by a bold surprise attack. 

Armenian annals are not at all clear concerning Leo's part in the 
events that took place at the beginning of the third Crusade. Some ac- 
counts picture him in Cyprus attending Guy of Lusignan's marriage with 
Princess Berengaria of Navarre, others represent him as joining In the 
siege of Ptolemais (Acre), along with Philippe-Auguste and Richard 
Coeur-de-Lion, the French and English kings. Latin authorities, how- 
ever, do not concur with Armenian historians in the statement that Leo 
was present at the latter memorable siege which lasted two years, al- 
though it is certain that some troops from Armenia gave assistance to 
the Crusaders during that operation. 



— 226 — 

The King of Armenia was an out-and-out statesman. From the 
time he first succeeded to the tile of baron (1187) until the close of the 
12th century when his unremitting efforts to win a royal crown proved 
successful, his one concern was setting up his kingdom and putting it on 
a footing where it could command the respect not only of the neighboring 
Latin princes but also of the Greeks and Moslems. 

Influenced by Byzantine ideas of government, and 
COURT OF imbued to an even greater extent with the feudal concep- 
ARMENIA tions of the Western world, the King patterned his court 
on those of Antioch and Jerusalem, The Assizes of the 
latter kingdom were authoritative law in Christian Syria and Cilicia; those 
of Antioch gained the ascendancy, however, and were administered in the 
new Armenian realm. Latin and French soon became spoken at Leo's 
court, and were used along with the lative language. With regard to the 
nobles, the new king recalled the misfortunes caused of old in Greater Ar- 
menia by the almost unbridled liberty they enjoyed, and tightened up their 
links with the throne, in line with the feudal customs of the West. The feu- 
datories were given the titles of baron and count; many of the offices of 
the Bagratid court were abolished, while others received Latin designa- 
tions such as that of Constable instead of the old title of Sbascalar. On 
the battle-field the dignitary thus named carried the royal standard. Be- 
fore his death, Leo created two Regents (bailes, or in Latin bajull), as 
had been provided by the Assizes of Jerusalem, one to protect and educate 
the Crown Princess, the other to administer Crown matters. There was 
a Marshall to carry the national standard, a Chamberlain (generally the 
Archbishop of Sis), a Chief Butler (Royal Cup-bearer), and a Grand 
Messenger, just as at European courts. A few titles of Greek origin, how- 
ever, continued in use, among them being that of "Proximos" given to 
the official set over the finances of the realm, and those of Sebastos and 
Pansebastos (Reverend and Most Reverend). 

Leo went a step nearer to the usages of Western chivalry in ar- 
rogating for himself upon his accession the right to bestow knighthood on 
his vassal nobles. In former years, when he was only a baron, this had 
been the privilege of the Princes of Antioch and he had himself received 
knighthood at the hands of Bohemond, but on becoming a sovereign, and 
even a suzerain of the neighboring princes, he claimed sworn allegiance 
from his feudatories. This right became established, and In 1274 Bo- 

— 227 — 

hemond VII, the last of the Antioch princes, was knighted by his uncle, 
King Leo III of Armenia. 

Thus the Armenian State, while retaining many of its Eastern char- 
acteristics, followed the pattern of the Western courts. Leo's increased 
royal authority brought him good results, for he was able to bring under 
his rule the numerous and hitherto unruly Armenian nobles, and to create 
a stable realm stretching the full extent of ancient Cilicia and protected by 
the high mountains of the Taurus and Amanus chains where all the passes 
were in his hands. His dominion comprised, according to the chronicles, 
sixty-two fortresses (1) the custody of which he was shrewd enough to 
entrust mostly to European knights 
including the Templars. He adopted 
this means of forestalling any incli- 
nation to revolt on the part of the na- 
tive barons, many of whom rather 
longed for the days when they had en- 
tire freedom. He was also in this man- 
ner able to frustrate any intriguing by 
the Byzantines, always so ready to 
sow dissension among the hated Ar- 




While organizing his kingdom and expanding his 

ARMENIAN territory, Leo did not forget to foster his country's de- 

TRADE velopment in the economic field. Situated between the 

kingdoms of the Crusaders, the Moslem dominions, and 

the Greek Empire, Cilicia was admirably located to serve as a middle 

ground for trade between the East and the West. The Cilician coasts though 

possessed of no first-class ports had a cer- 
tain number of harbors offering quite suf- 
ficient shelter for trading vessels to anch- 
or, even if not for galleys of war. 

The Armenians were very conver- 
sant with Asia and familiar with all the 
trade routes converging from the Eu- 
phrates and the Tigris, Persia and India, 
towards their country, and knew the 
great value set by the West on merchan- 




(1) MICHAEL THE SYRIAN, op. cit., I. p. 405. 

— 228 — 

disc from the East. They therefore arranged with the Sultans of Iconium 
and the Emirs of Aleppo, also the Caliphs of Bagdad, for the traffic to 
pass through their ports. Ever since the Moslems had gained possession 
of nearly all Western Asia, caravans proceeded unmolested, from the 
banks of the Indus to those of the Euphrates. Trade had formerly taken 
the direction of the Greek provinces of Asia, but the Armenians succeeded 
in diverting it, owing to their cleverness in negotiating with the Western 
ship-captains. Under Leo II traders from the West began to flock to Tar- 
sus and Adana, and the small port of Aias (1) was crowded with European 

Venice and Genoa, the two great trading Republics of the Mediter- 
ranean, were the most eager to do business with New Armenia. They 
had extensive dealing with Byzantium and the Frankish coasts of Syria, 
but the settling of the Turcomans in central Asia Minor on the one hand 
and the governments set up by the Crusaders in Palestine and Lebanon, 
on the other, had caused an alteration in the caravan routes, and the 
Genoese and Venetian offices on the Bosphorus and in Syria were not 
doing such excellent business as formerly. The Crusaders were unfitted 
for trading and the Greeks no longer had the monopoly of the Eastern 

Nevertheless, even in Cilicia Western traders met with difficulties be- 
cause of certain usages prevalent throughout the East. The State main- 
tained its right of preemption on wreckage, also that of escheat, or re- 
version to the Crown treasury of the estates of foreigners dying within 
the country. Armenian jurisdiction only was recognized in disputes be- 
tween Europeans. Business was further complicated by a lot of custom- 
house vexations. The Genoese and Venetians found all these practices 
great hindrances in their affairs, but they gradually succeeded in ob- 
taining advantages from which the other traders from Catalonia, Mont- 
pellier, Provence, Pisa, Sicily, etc. were excluded. 

Merchandise was taxed according to the special agreements made 
between the country of origin and the kingdom of Armenia. The Genoese 
and Venetians were able to bring in most of their goods duty-free, others 
paid an ad valorem tax of two to four per cent. The caravans arriving 
from the interior were also subject to customs duty. 

In exchange for their products or their sequins the Europeans ob- 
tained from the marts of Aias, Tarsus, or Adana, Eastern wares such as 
pepper, spices, aromatics, incense, soap, jewels, raw silk, fine Indian and 

(1) Today: Yumurtalik. 

— 229 

Persian textiles, gold fabrics, and Persian carpets, on all of which precious 
merchandise the Armenians realized enormous profits while the royal 
Treasury reaped bountiful customs revenues. Cilicia became a scene ot 
international transit trade comparable to that which twelve centuries be- 
fore had made Sybaris so opulent. 

The Armenians called their king "Leo the Great", or "The Magnifi- 
cent". Nevertheless, without detracting from this ruler's fine quaUties 
or depreciating the work he accomplished, the historian must refrain from 
sharing altogether the admiration he was held in by those whom he en- 
riched and whose encomiums regarding him are recorded in the Armenian 
chronicles. Like most of his contemporaries, he was unscrupulous as to 
his means for attaining his ends, enlarging his dominions, or making his 
realm prosperous. He blazed up against any obstacle he found in his 
path, even against the Church on whom he had called for assistance for 
so long a time. For no valid reason he 
repudiated his first wife Isabel, and he put 
out the eyes of his cousin George, Mleh's 
illegitimate son. By trickery he got pos- 
session of the fortress of Lampron and 
made Hetum his prisoner at Tarsus on the 
pretext of marrying Rupen's daughter Phil- 
ippa to Ochin, Return's eldest son. Never- 
theless he made some very definite im- 
provements in his realm. He endowed Cil- 
icia with a number of religious and charit- 
able institutions, brought under regulation 
the slave trade throughout his territory, for- 
bidding the sale of Chritian slaves to In- 
fi d e 1 s, and created hospitals for 



lepers who were then very nu- 
merous in the East. He ac- 
complished much, for he 
sought every means of making 
his people prosperous, but un- 
like Louis XI of France he 
was unable to master the 
shortcomings of his day or to 
bring into final submission the 
unruly nobles. 

— 230 — 

Before his death, Leo had named as his suc- 
ISABEL, QUEEN cesser Isabel (Zabel), his daughter by his second 
1219-1252 wife Sybil, the daughter of Amaury of Lusignan, 

King of Cyprus, and Isabel Plantagenet. In ac- 
cordance with his expressed wish, the young princess was proclaimed 
queen under the regency of Adam of Gastim, but this nobleman having 
been slain by the Ismailians (1), Baron Constantine of the Lampron 
family was named Regent. Isabel's minority aroused, however, the cup- 
idity of Raymond-Rupen, son of Raymond III of Antioch and Alice, 
Rupen IPs daughter, who entered Cilicia in the hope of seizing the throne. 
He was defeated and captured by Constantine near Tarsus, and put to 

Following this quarrel which threatened to upset good relations be- 
tween the Armenians and the Latins, Constantine was anxious to wipe out 
all cause for dispute, and therefore brought about the young queen's mar- 
riage to Prince 
Philip, son of Ray- 
mond the One- 
Eyed, Count of 
Tripoli. This prince 
made himself very 
unpopular with the 
Armenians, seeking 
to impose western 
customs on them. Consequently 
Constantine had him put away in 
the Castle of Sis where two years 
later he died of poison. The Regent 
could not leave the kingdom in the 
dangerous position of belonging to 
a queen who was only nominalh' 
married. Constantine's treatment of 




(1) The "Assassins". 

— 231 

Prince Philip appears somewhat unscrupulous when it is considered that 
he had views of his own with regard to his ward whom he wished to marry 
to his own son Hetum. 


tTi/^wjLWi'np fyu)n 

Isabel was then in her 
twelfth year only, and some of 
the Armenian barons disliked 
Constantine's plans and were 
jealous of a Lampron noble, one 
of themselves, possibly becoming 
their ruler. They probably con- 
demned, too, the murder of Philip. These nobles arranged for the young 
queen to flee for refuge to Seleucia Trachea (1), to the home of some 
Latin kinsfolk who themselves, perhaps, were not averse to so flattering 
a connection. 


Constantine took arms and laid siege to the fortress which was held 
by the Knights Hospitalers. Their Grand Master, Bertrand, however, 
was then at war with the Sultan of Iconium, Ala-ed-Din Kaikobad, and 
had no desire to take on a fresh quarrel; consequently he surrendered it 
to the Armenians. The young queen was taken to Tarsus where she had 
to consent to marrying Prince Hetum, who thus became King of Armenia. 
On his coins, which are quite numerous, both his effigy and that of Isabel 
are shown. 

The reign of Hetum (1226-1270) was the longest of 
HETUM I all the sovereigns of New Armenia. It began, however, 
KING OF under very unfavorable auspices. The Seljuks of Iconium 

ARMENIA invaded Cilicia, and their Sultan Kaikobad (1220-1237) 
1226-1270 compelled the kingdom to do him homage. Hetum was 
obliged to coin bilingual money with the name of the Mos- 
lem overlord and himself. 

(1) Selefkeh. 



At this time, Genghis Khan was 
proceeding westward from the Ganges 
and Indus laying everything waste as 
he advanced. Northern Persia, Greater 
Armenia, and Georgia (where Rousou- 
dan, a queen notorious for her evil ways, 
was reigning), had fallen to the might of 
the terrible conqueror. Hetum and all 
the Christian and Moslem rulers of Asia 

Minor joined together and warded off invasion. 

Genghis Khan withdrew to Kurdistan where he was 

assassinated in 1231. 

This victory stemmed only for a while the Mon- 
golian wave. Oktai-Khan (1227-1241), Genghis' 
son and successor, caused his hordes to overrun the 
countries west of the Caspian Sea, where they spread 
desolation everywhere, leaving in their wake nothing 
but ashes, ruins, and heaps of corpses. The sud- 
denness and cruelty of the disaster were unprece- 
dented. In 1235 the Mongols exterminated nearly 
every inhabitant of Gandzak (lelisavetpol), and 
the two following years saw the sacking of Lori, 
Kayan, Ani, and Kars. About 1242 Karin (Erze- 
rum) shared the same fate. This city was then un- 
der the Sultan of Iconium, Gaiath-ed-Din Kaikhosru 
II, who had obtained possession of the throne by the 
murder of his father Ka'ikobad. This 
sultan was completely defeated by the 
invaders between Erzerum and Erzind- 
jan, and both Caesarea and Sebaste, like- 
wise belonging to the Seljuks, were also 
laid in ruins. 





Hetum was appalled by the danger, 
for the invasion was nearing his borders, 
and he hastened to surrender to the Mon- 
gols. Their Khan, Batchu, demanded 



that he deliver up to him the mother, wife, and 
daughter of the Sultan of Iconium who had taken 
refuge at the court of Sis. Hetum was weak enough 
to yield to the will of the barbarian, and Kaikhosru 
to avenge such an infraction of the laws of hospit- 
ality, gave his support to the revolt of the Baron 
of Lampron, the brother-in-law of the Regent Con- 
stantine, and they together invaded Cilicia. Hetum 
shut himself up in Adana, Constantine and their 
constable Sempad in Tarsus; but with the help oi 
the Mongols who came to his side the king drove 
out the Moslems from his realm. 





His alliance with the Khans seemed so valu- 
able and necessary to the king of Armenia that he 
did not hesitate to go personally to visit Mango, the 
Mongolian ruler, who dwelt at Karakorum beyond 
the Gates of Derbend, on the shore of the Caspian 
Sea, near the mouth of the Volga. There he was re- 
ceived with great honors by the barbarian chieftain, 
and a treaty of alliance was signed between them, which 
he put to profit on his return, taking back from the 
Sultan of Iconium certain districts the latter had cap- 
tured in his absence. 

A strange proceeding, indeed, for this king to 
leave his Christian court and, crossing the width of 
Moslem Asia, to act as his own ambassador to a bar- 
barian from the Siberian steppes, a dweller in the 
heart of hardly known Scythia! Nevertheless, by way 
of Greater Armenia the Armenians and the Barbarians 
had linked up, and the heathen horde after laying 
waste the Ararat region had turned against the Mos- 
lems, thereby serving the Christian cause. Hetum 
looked on them as his natural allies. 






As one historian writes: "When Mango Can [Khatt] had 
**heard the King of Armenia's petition, he called together his court, 

— 234 — 


"and summoned the king to his pres- 
"ence. Then before the assembly he 
"spoke thus: 'Because the King of 
"Armenia has come . . . We do reply, 
"King of Armenia, that we will be- 
"nignly grant all your prayers. And 
"We, in the first place. Who are Lord 

"by the grace of God, will be baptized and accept 

"the faith. Our Lord Jesus Christ. I will have all 

"those of my house baptized; and I will advise the 

"others in good faith that they too be baptized, and 

"believe the Christian faith. But I will not force 

"anyone, for faith and belief do not require force. 

"To your second request, we reply that we wish for 

"perpetual peace and friendship, we and our people, 

"with the Christians ... To the Christian churches 

"and to the clergy of whatever sort, religious or 

"secular, we will give the privilege of freedom, and 

"will not suffer that in any wise they be molested. 

"As to the matter of the Holy Land, we would say 

"that we would willingly in our own person under- 

"take the conquest of the Holy Land, . . . But in- 

"asmuch as we have too much other business, we 

"must give commandment to our prow Alaon [Hou- 

"lago-Khan] and he will accomplish this task and deliver holy Jeru- 

"salem from the hands of the infidels, and return it to the Christians . . . 

"and to our brother we will give com- 
"mandment that he go and take the 
"city of Damascus and that he destroy 
"the Caliph, as our mortal enemy . . 

Hetum was well advised in tak- 
ing this step, for the mounting storm 
was about to strike all Western Asia. 
In 1257 the terrible Houlago-Khan ad- 
vanced to the center of Asia Minor, 



(1) Hayton (Hetum). "La flore des estoiles de la terre d'Orfent". (The flower 
of the stars of the Orient.) Histoire des Croisades, vol. II, p. 167. 

— 235 — 

overthrew the power of the Sultans of Iconlum, and 
then capturing Bagdad on February 4th, 1258, slew 
the Caliph Motassem and his two sons. For forty 
days the slaughter went on in the Arab capital. 
Everywhere he passed, Houlago had left nothing 
but ruins: Erzerum, Erzindjan, Sebaste, Caesarea, 
Iconium, Martyropolis, Aleppo, Damascus, Edessa, 
Kharan, Amidus, all were laid waste and the in- 
habitants wiped out. The Christians, however, did 
not suffer as much as did the Moslems in this ap- 
palling work of extermination, due to the interces- 
sion on their behalf of Princess Dokouz-Khatoun, 
and also because Hetum, as an ally of the Mongols, 
was fighting alongside of them. 



Houlago was called away by his brother Man- 
go's death, and did not return to Asia Minor. He 
left innumerable hordes to continue the deadly work 

of their terrible chieftain, masses of men who were only less dangerous 
in that they lacked the cohesive purpose of a leader. 


At this juncture Bibars, the Sultan 
of Egypt, of the Baharit Mamaluke dy- 
nasty (1260-1277), entered the scene to 
take advantage of the upheaval caused 
by the Mongol invasion, also of '^e 
barbarian chief's departure, and deter- 
mined to destroy the Latin principalities. 
Favored by the momentary absence of 
the Tartars, he invaded Cilicia and over- 
whelmed the army hastily raised to meet 
him under Hetum's two sons, Leo and 
Theodore. The latter prince was killed 
in the fight, and the other carried away 
prisoner (August 24th, 1266). Adoua, 

236 — 

the city of the Templars, Sis, Misis, Adana, Aias, and Tarsus fell to the 
Mameluke ruler, who destroyed them and slaughtered every single in- 
habitant. Finally, on May 19th, 1268, Antioch itself was lost to the Cru- 
saders. After massacring the male population, the conqueror distributed 
the women among his soldiers; the sacking of this city was on an almost 
unprecedented scale. 

Hetum finally obtained terms of peace from the victor but they were 
very heavy. His son Leo was restored to him in exchange for Schems-ed- 
Din Sonkor al-aschkar (Red Falcon), Bibars' favorite who had fallen 
into Houlago's hands at the siege of Aleppo. His eyes opened at last 
to the vanity of worldly greatness, the king relinquished his crown as soon 
2s his son came back. He abdicated to make way for Leo and withdrew to 
a monastery where he died October 28th, 1270. 

The new sovereign, sometimes called Leo 
LEO II HI by the Armenians, was really only the 

KING OF ARMENIA second king of that name, the first Leo (1129- 
1270-1289 1137) having been simply a baron, just as 

Leo H was between 1187 and 1196 (or 1199). 
Only in the latter reign at the end of the 12th century did Armenia be- 
come a kingdom under Leo I, properly speaking. The son of Hetum I 
was therefore the second crowned Leo. 

This ruler's reign (1270-1289) was only another series of misfor- 
tunes. The king's authority had been much undermined by the disasters 
under Hetum I, and a number of Armenian nobles preferred to submit 
to the Egyptian Sultan rather than keep up an unequal struggle against 
the latter's hosts. Out of sheer fright of the Moslems, these discouraged 
Individuals went so far as to urge the Mamelukes to conquer Cilicia out- 
right. Leo was weak in repressing his traitorous liegemen, and did not 
go beyond seizing their castles. His clemency only resulted in fanning 
their spite against the throne. 

— 237 — 

While the king was doing his best 
to raise the spirits of his disheartened 
subjects, suddenly (1273-1275), without 
the least excuse, Bibars' emirs again in- 
vaded the kingdom with a very big army. 
Misis was captured in a surprise attack, 
and its people put to the sword. Sis, ac- 
cording to Armenian historians, stood 
out; according to Makrisi it was sacked. 
Tarsus fell, the royal palace and Church 
were burned to the ground, and the State 
Treasury seized by the Egyptians. Fif- 
teen thousand inhabitants were slain by 
the yataghan, and ten thousand more 
carried off into captivity in the land of 
the Pharaohs. Aias met with the same 
fate as the other cities; the whole popu- 
lation, both Frank and Armenian, per- 
ished. The disaster was so appalling that 
it remained a byword both among the 
horrified Armenians and among the Mos- 
lems who withdrew from Cilicia satiated 
with plunder and gloating over the shed- 
ding of so much Christian blood. 

Makrisi (1) has left us a terrifying 
account of the Egyptian invasion of Cilicia. "On the third day of the 
month Schaban 673 [February 1st, 1275] the Sultan [Bibars] set out 
"from the Mountain Castle for Syria and entered Damascus, whence he 
"came out again leading his army and Arab auxiliaries . . . The Khazindar 
"[Treasurer] and the Emirs in an overland raid took the city of Macica 
"by surprise and slaughtered all its people. They had brought with them 
"on mules a quantity of boats taken apart, for the purpose of crossing the 
"Djeyhan river and the Nahr-Aswab [the Black River], but these were 
"not needed. The Sultan at the head of his army joined the two Emirs 
"after crossing the Nahr-Aswab. The army overcame the numerous diffic- 
"ulties encountered on the way and obtained possession of the mountains, 
"where they gathered an enormous amount of booty In the way of oxen, 







(1) Histoire des Sulthans Mamlouks, op. cit.. vol. I, part 2, p. 123. 

— 238 — 

"buffaloes, and sheep. The Sultan entered Sis in battle array, and there 
"observed the solemn feast. Then he gave the city over to pillage, and 
"destroyed the palace of the Takafour [king], its summer-houses, and 
"gardens. A detachment which he sent to the gorge of Rum [Taurus 
"Gates] came back with Tartar prisoners including very many women 
"and children. The monarch fetched three hundred horses and mules 
"from Tarsus. Troops sent to the coast captured a number of ships, 
"the crews of which were slain. Other bodies of soldiers raided the 
"mountains in all directions and massacred or captured the foe, taking 
"quantities of loot. One detachment set out for Aias and finding that city 
"undefended sacked and burned it, killing great numbers. About two 
"thousand of its inhabitants had taken refuge in boats which were, how- 
"ever, lost out at sea. The amount of plunder was beyond computation." 

These terrible events remained graven in the memory of the unhappy 
Armenians, accustomed though they were for centuries to barbarous 
enemy treatment. Vahram of Edessa in his rhymed chronicle (1) says: 
"They [the Egyptians] scoured the mountains and brought down from 
"the heights both people and cattle. They put to the sword all those 
"they found in the plain. Only those who had found refuge in [natural] 
"strongholds or who had been able to betake themselves to fortresses 
"escaped the slaughter. All the rest were taken, none were spared. En- 
"circling our land they laid the torch to everything. The great city of 
"Tarsus of such magnificence and renown was laid in ruins. They burned 
"the Church of St. Sophia and gave the city over to plunder." 

Armenian was not crushed entirely, however; the fight was continued 
relentlessly. Leo with the help of the Turcomans succeeded in a few en- 
counters, but Cilicia was then invaded a second time and devastated. 
Bibars finally died on June 30, 1277; his death meant only a short truce 
for the Armenians, for in spite of the dissensions at the Cairo court the 
Egyptians again set out for the north. Mango Timur with fifty thousand 
Tartars and the aid of twenty-five thousand Caucasians and Armenians 
met in pitched battle on the plain of Horns (Emesa) the Sultan of Egypt, 
Malek-Mansur, together with the Sultan of Damascus, Sonkor-Aschkar 
(October 29th, 1281). The Christians and their allies met with disastrous 
defeat, and the conquerors pursuing the Armenians entered Cilicia. 

(1) verses 1261-1274. 

— 239 — 

Through the intervention of the Commander of the Templars of 
New Armenia, Leo II at last obtained peace with Egypt. A treaty was 


signed to last ten years, ten months, and ten days; but the terms of the 
Sultan In Cairo were extremely harsh. Leo was obliged to pay an annual 
tribute amounting to one million dirhems (1), to release all Moslem 
merchants who had been taken prisoners and indemnify them for the 
losses they had sustained, surrender fugitives, and grant the Moslems full 
freedom to trade, even in slaves whatever their nationality or religion. 
On his part the Sultan agreed to similar terms, but Moslem prisoners or 
fugitives were not to be included in the foregoing stipuatlon. 

The remnants of the Latin principalities were likewise In a sorry 
state at this period, and each of the princes was concerned only with his 
home protection, whether by arms or, as was more often the case, by 
composition with the enemy. Ever since Antloch fell to the Moslems, 
Cillcia had been completely isolated. The above peace, however, although 
humiliating and grievous for Leo, had Its bright side in that it promised 
eleven years of respite. Famine and plague came on top of Armenia's 
devastation by war, and yet by wise and prudent government the king 
succeeded In raising his country once more from ruin. Foreign vessels 
were again to be seen visiting the port of A'ias, and commerce revived. 
Numerous writings dating from this reign show how solicitous he was 
for the education of his people, especially their religious education. 

By his wife. Queen Anna, Leo II had eleven children, nine of whom 
v/ere living at the time of his death. 

Hetum II (1289-1297) ascended the throne at a 
HETUM II critical time for Eastern Christendom. The Egyptian 

KING OF Mamelukes who were already in possession of the former 
ARMENIA Latin principalities of Edessa, Jerusalem, and Antioch, 

1289-1297 behaved with arrogance towards the last few Prankish 

domains, as also towards Armenia. Kelaun demanded 

from Leo the surrender of the strongholds of Marasch and Behesni, in 

defiance of the treaty made In 1185 with Leo II. Hetum appealed in 

vain to Pope Nicolas IV and King Philip IV of France; the spirit of the 

(1) Arab silver coin. 

— 240 — 


Crusades was dead, so much so that 
Alfonso III, king of Aragon, Don 
Jayme, king of Naples, and the Re- 
public of Genoa were all signing com- 
mercial treaties with the Sultan, which 
meant that a portion of Europe ac- 
cepted the accomplished fact and, in 
short, disowned the Crusaders. Kelaun 
continued to conquer, to massacre 
Christians, and to make slaves of their 
women and children. Tripoli fell in 
1189, followed by Acre (May 15th, 
1291). Tyre, Sidon, and Beyrouth 
shared the same fate. In 1292, Melik- 
Aschraf-Khalil, Kelaun's son, ad- 
vanced as far as the Euphrates and 
laid siege to Romcla, the residence of 
the Armenian Catholicos and a most 
important stronghold defended by 
Raymond, Hetum's maternal uncle. 
The city was taken by storm after thirty-three days' siege, and all the 
men were put to the sword while the women and children and the 
Patriarch Stephen went off into captivity. Threat- 
ened right in the heart of his realm, Hetum aban- 
doned Behesni, Marasch, and Till of Hamdoun, in 
order to save his country from utter destruction. 

With palace revolutions occurring in Cairo and 
the plague ravaging Egypt, conditions might have 
improved for the Latin principalities, had they not 
become so weak that they were incapable of further 
effort. Aware that he could expect no help from 
the Latins, Hetum negotiated with Melik-Adelzein- 
ed-Dinket bogha who had seized the Mameluke 
throne, ousting Nascer-Mohammed, and the Moslem 
ruler gave him back part of the prisoners taken at 
Romcla together with the holy vessels and relics 
that had been taken with the booty. 

Discouraged by the countless difficulties besetting him at every step, 
Hetum abdicated in favor of his brother Thoros and withdrew to a 




241 — 

monastery, but urged by the Armenian nobles and by Thoros himself 
to resume the reins of state, he emerged from his retreat. Disputes had 
arisen among the kinsmen of Genghis-Khan, and the court of Sis followed 

with anxiety the events transpir- 
..■>'.*.'^*^^^^ y<J^'-^-': ^y^%. ing in the reigning family of the 

Mongols, the only allies to whom 
the Armenians could look. The 
new Khan quite willingly re- 
newed the former treaty of alli- 
ance with the king of Armenia. 
On his return to Sis, Hetum was 
overjoyed to find awaiting him 



there a Byzantine embassy sent to ask him for the hand of his 
sister Ritha (Margaret) in marriage to Michael, recently raised to share 
the Imperial throne. The princess took the name of Xene (Mary). 

These alliances with the Mongols and the Greeks 
and the traditional friendship of the Armenians and the 
Latins offered Hetum a hope of his country escaping for 
a while the Egyptian menace. Being anxious to strength- 
en his ties with the Byzantine court, he proceeded to 
Constantinople, but his second brother Sempad took ad- 
vantage of his absence to seize the crown (1296- 
1298). The usurper captured his two elder brothers 
at Caesarea and caused Thoros to be strangled, and 
Hetum to be blinded. Constantine, the prince royal, 
who had helped his brother Sempad in his seizure 
of the throne was shocked by these wicked deeds 
and therefore captured him in turn 
and held him prisoner, setting Hetum 
free, and proclaiming himself king 

Within a few months Hetum re- 
covered his sight, and the nobles re- 
stored to him his crown, in spite of 
opposition on the part of Constantine 
and Sempad. The latter were both 
taken and exiled to Constantinople, 
where they died. 

During Constantine's short reign, COINS OF SEMPAD 

Armenia suffered invasion and devas- KING OF ARMENIA 










tation once more by the Egyptians, and the enemy captured Tell-Ham- 
doun and laid seige to Hamous, which held out. The historian Abulfeda, 
who later became governor of Hamath, tells us that, finding its food 
supply nearly exhausted, the defenders of the city put outside the walls 
twelve hundred women and children who were divided among the Mos- 
lems, and that he for his share had two maidens and one boy. The usur- 
per obtained peace only by surrendering 
Hamous and ten other fortified places. 

"The Egyptian army consisted of 
"'two divisions, one under Emir Bedred- 
"din-Bektasch, and the other under Mel- 
"ik Moudhaffer Takieddin Mahmoud, 
"Prince of Hama. The former advanced 
"through the gorge of Bagras towards 
"the city of Iskanderoun [Alexandretta], 
"and laid siege to Tell-Hamdoun, whilst 
"Melik-Moudhaffer went forward on the 
"side of the Djeihan river. They entered 
"the gorge of Sis on Thursday, the fourth 
"day of the month Redjeb [April 17th, 
"1299]. The Prince of Hama pitched 
"his camp under the walls of Sis, and 
"Emir Bektasch took the road to Adana. 
"There the various detachments of the 
"Moslem army joined one another after 
"slaughtering all the inhabitants they 
"met, collecting all the oxen and bufi'aloes, and pillaging in all directions. 
"They then left Adana and returning to Mecica within three days, they 
"passed through the gorge of Bagras and camped not far from Antioch. 
"The emirs received, however, orders from Sultan Latchin to attack the 
"Armenians once more and not to come back without having taken Tell- 
"Hamdoun, From Roudj [Rugia] the army passed through the gorge of 
"Bagras again and proceeded towards Sis, whilst Kedjken and Kara- 
"Anslar advanced against Aias. The two officers were caught by a sur- 
"prise attack from the Armenians in ambush, and compelled to beat a 
"hasty retreat. In the meantime Emir Bektasch advanced against Tell- 
"Hamdoun which he found abandoned by the Armenians; he entered 
"and garrisoned the place on the 7th day of the month Ramadhan [June 
"18th]. At the same time Emir Beiban-Tabakhl, Naib [deputy-governor] 


— 243 — 

•'of Aleppo, captured the city of Marasch. The fortress of Nedjimah, con- 
staining a large Armenian population of laborers, countrywomen, and 
"their children, surrendered after forty-one days of stubborn resistance 
•'to the attacks of Emir Bektasch and the Prince of Hama. The Egyp- 
"tians captured it in the month Dsulkada [August-September]. The in- 
"habitants who had capitulated on terms were allowed to go where they 
"wished. Eleven fortified places in Armenian territory likewise fell to 
"the conquerors who remained In possession of them until the arrival of 

(V: Venetian possessions — L: Crusaders' possessions) 

"the Tartars. Then the Emir sold all there was of value in them, and 
"evacuated the fortresses which were reoccupied by the Armenians (1)." 

Hetum having regained his power, the Mongols 
HETUM'S now emerged into Syria and supported by the Ar- 

RETURN TO menlans gained a great victory over the Mamelukes 
POWER near Horns (22-23 December 1299). The Egyptians 

were driven from the valley of the Orontes, and Damas- 
cus itself fell into the victors' hands. The Armenians restored their former 
status by the recovery of the territory that had been taken from them. 
Four years later, however, Egypt's Sultan avenged himself by a crushing 
defeat of the Allied Mongol and Armenian armies near Damascus (April 
20th, 1303). The latter were annihilated, and King Hetum fled for re- 
fuge to Khazan at Mossul. 

(1) MAKRISI, Histoire des Sulthans Mamlouks, transl. Et. QUATREMERE 
rol. II, part 2, p 60-65. 

_ 244 — 

For a number of years the Mongols had been wavering as to the 
direction in which they should turn politically. They were still heathen at 
this time, and with their eye on world events wondered whether to lean 
toward the Moslems and adopt their religion or toward the Latins and 
become Christians. The very precarious position into which the Prankish 
principalities had fallen and Europe's virtual abandonment of them — 
when considered alongside the great military strength of the Mamelukes 
— tipped the scales in favor of the Prophet. Had Europe sent a fresh 
Crusade to the East, the greater part of Asia would have become Christian 
and the Latins with the aid of the Mongols would have driven Islam back 
into the Arabian desert. Civilization lost a unique opportunity to crush its 
hydra-headed foe. 

Hetum and Leo, however, continued to be treated as allies by the 
Khans, and as such to be harassed by the Egyptians whose invasions 
were becoming ever more frequent and disastrous for Cilicla. 




At this date (1305) Hetum finally gave up 
his crown after first seating on the throne 
his nephew Leo, the son of Thoros HI and 
Margaret of Lusignan, then only 16 years old. 
He retained for himself the title of Grand 
Baron. But the young prince had hardly been crowned when Bilarghu 
and his Mongols came to the walls of Anazarbus. They were asked inside 

the city to discuss matters, and once in- 
side they set upon Hetum, Leo HI, and 
a score of Armenian nobles and mas- 

f~''^K,'ty-^^^''^f-^^r^^T\ sacred them. This treacherous crime 
S?wi/l^:i5^^/kM ^^' reportedly committed at the insti- 
' '"''^ ' " ^'^'^^ gatlon of other members of the nobility 

who resented what they considered too 
close a rapprochement between the el- 
derly king and his young nephew and 
heir on the one hand, and the Pope and 
the Catholic ritual on the other. The 
historian Samuel of Ani (1) voices the 
discontent among Armenian nationalists 
caused by the decisions reached at the 


(I) Histoire des Croisades, Documents armeniens, I, p. 456. 

— 245 — 

Council of Sis (1307-1308), which seem to show the reasons for the murder 
of the king and his nobles. He writes: "During the reign of Pope Con- 
"stantine of Caesarea [1307-1322] the grand Baron Hetum held a Coun- 
"cil [at Sis] wherein union with the Church of Rome was effected and 
"the teachings of our Illuminator [St. Gregory] set at nought. It was 
"agreed that Christmas be celebrated on December 25th, and the saints' 
"days on their respective dates, also that water should be used in the 
"chalice in the celebration of Mass." 



Hetum's fourth brother, Ochin, was informed of 
the heinous assassination by a messenger from the 
governor of Anazarbus, and rushing to the spot he 
drove the Mongols out of Cilicia, pursuing them to 
the frontier. On his return he had himself crowned 
in the Cathedral of Tarsus. His religious opinions were not different 
from those of Hetum, consequently he too met with violent opposition 
from some of the nobles and the early part of his reign was taken up in 
subduing their revolts. 


Samuel of Ani writes further (1): "This year 1309-1310 there as- 
"sembled at Sis, the capital of the kingdom, a large number of monks 
"and clergy, priests and deacons, doctors and bishops, together with many 
"of the people, both men and women, all opposed to the use of water in 
"the chalice at Mass and other changes. King Ochin with the consent 
"of the Patriarch and the chief nobles seized all these people, imprisoned 
"the doctors in the fortress and put to death very many men and women 
"together with some of the clergy and deacons. He then packed the monks 
"onto a vessel, and exiled them to Cyprus, where most of them dled.^ 

(1) Op.cit., p. 466. 

246 — 

His nephew's murder at the be- 
hest of the insurgents and his absolute 
need of peace within his borders in or- 
der to meet the peril from without 
forced Ochin 'to take drastic step's 
against these fanatics who were willing 
to sacrifice the nation's welfare to their 
personal feelings and to trivialities 
relating to church ritual. 


Amaury, Prince of Tyre, had mar- 
ried Isabel, Ochin's sister, whereby 

the king of Armenia became involved in the affairs of the kingdom of 
Cyprus, Henry II of Lusignan having been ousted by his brother Amaury 
and exiled to Cilicia. There Ochin, taking his brother-in-law's part, im- 
prisoned him in the Castle of Lampron. Amaury however was murdered 
(June 5th, 1310), and at the entreaty of the Pope's legate, Raymond de 
Pin, Henry II was released and reconciled with Isabel. 

The principaHty of Cyprus was the last remnant of Latin dominion 
in the East, the king of Armenia's last hope of gaining the ear of Europe; 
consequently he did everything in his power to retain the friendship of 
the sovereigns of the island. The Western world, however, was losing 
interest in the fate of Armenia, and all Ochin could obtain was a grant 
of thirty thousand sequins sent him by the Pope at Avignon, John XXII 
(1316-1334). Meanwhile the Moslems continued to ravage Cilicia, and 
the Armenians continued their struggle to defend their land, sometimes 
even scoring temporary success, but what could they hope for, Isolated 
as they were now against a sea of enemies! 

Upon Ochin's death (July 20, 1320) his 
young son Leo IV (1320-1342) ascended the 
throne. As he was only ten years old, the 
dying king appointed as Regent Ochin, Count 
of Gorigos. This nobleman was the brother 

of Isabel, King Ochin's first wife, and was therefore the new king's uncle. 

It was accordingly necessary to obtain a special letter (August 10, 1521) 




— 247 — 

(1) from Pope John XXII to permit the marriage of the youthful sove- 
reign to his cousin Alice, the daughter of the Count. The latter married 

about the same time Queen Joan, the widow 

of the Count of Tyre. 

The Moslem devastations went on un- 
ceasingly; if the Tartars from Iconium were 
not raiding the country, the Mamelukes in 
their turn were sowing death and destruc- 
tion in Cilicia. The Armenian nobles shut 
themselves up in their castles, and as soon 
as the storm was over, they resumed their 
feuds with their neighbors and with their 


Once more the Pope interceded and 
pleaded for Armenia to king Philip V of 
France (June 22, 1322), likewise to the Mogul Khan of Persia (July 4, 
1322). The latter sent twenty thousand Tartars to Leo's assistance. 
Sultan Malek-en-Nascer thus threatened consented to a peace treaty to 
last fifteen years in consideration of an annual tribute of fifty thousand 
gold fiorins, plus one half of the customs revenues of the port of Aias and 
one half of the proceeds of the sale of salt to foreigners. On these terms 
he withdrew his troops from Armenia. 

The western world's concern for Armenia waned, however, more and 
m.ore. All the Pope's endeavors to start a new Crusade were fruitless. 
Philip VI of Valois sent ten thousand gold bezants and later on one 
thousand florins, but the only monarch to make an alliance with Leo III 
was Hugh IV, king of Cyprus. Leo's territory still suffered from on- 
slaughts by the Moslems notwithstanding the treaty signed by the Sultan. 

(1) Vatican archives. Reg. Epist. commun. an V, part II. fol. 205, 1326. 

— 248 — 


Furthermore, the young Armen- 
ian king deserved little consideration 
personally, for he was guilty of crimes 
of all sorts. On January 26th, 1329, 
he caused the arrest and death of the 
Regent Ochin and his brother the Con- 
stable Constantine and to curry favor 
with his most formidable enemies, he 
sent the head of the former to Malek- 
en-Nascer and of the latter to the Mo- 
gul Khan Abou-Said. This double 
murder was shortly afterwards fol- 
lowed by that of his own wife whom 
he killed in a fit of anger on the 
grounds that she had been unfaithful 
to him. The nineteen year old self- 
made widower married in 1333 the 
daughter of Frederick 11 of Sicily, 
Constance Eleonora, the widow of 

Henry II of Cyprus. Finally on August 28th, 1341, Leo himself suc- 
cumbed to the assassins' daggers, after experiencing fresh defeats by the 
Mamelukes and swearing on the sacred gospels "that he would have no 
further relations with the Latins." 

Leo's life undoubtedly covers him with obloquy, but history should not 
pass so severe a condemnation on this ruler as it would on a king living in 
a different environment and under the care of a upright regent. His 
guardian, Ochin, took over all the royal attributes 
as soon as the former king died, and proceeded 
to make himself hated for his inordinate pride 
and insatiable lust for power. One and all had 
to cringe to his fancy. He put to death or exiled 
any who did not bow to his will, and Isabel, king 
Ochin's sister and the widow of Amaury of Lu- 
signan, was strangled at his orders. Four of 
Isabel's five children who lived in Armenia were 
arrested at the same time as their mother; the 
two eldest, Hugh and Henry, were poisoned, and the two others driven 
out of Armenia. The cruelties of the Count of Gorigos made him hated 
by most of the nobles and especially by the king whom as his ward he 


— 249 — 

treated most harshly. Leo incensed at his uncle's behavior to him took 
vengeance, and rid himself of a mentor whose yoke became so intolerable. 
This first crime dulled his conscience and was the forerunner of further 

Jean Dardel writes: (1) "When the aforesaid Baron Ossin had mar- 
•'ried the Lady Joan of Naples he was so cruel that all who had been 
"hostile to him he caused to be slain or driven from the country. Among 
"others he caused to be murdered by stranghng the aforesaid Lady 
"Isabel, the sister of the late King Ochin. Her four children were im- 
"prisoned, and two of them put to death, namely Sir Hugh, whom he 
"caused to be poisoned, and Sir Henry. The latter asked for the love of 
"God a little water, whereupon he had him given urine to drink. And 
"the other two, namely. Sir John and Sir Bemon at the prayer of some 
"of the nobles he took out of prison and had them put out to sea on a 
"boat so that they should drift wherever they might. These two reached 
"the island of Rhodes and the Knights Hospitalers received them kindly 
"and they remained there three years. Following all of which, the afore- 
"said Baron Ossin gave his own daughter Aalips [Alix] in marriage to 
"the aforesaid King Leo the Fourth, who was a minor and under his 

It must be remembered that in all the Latin courts of the East, and 
unfortunately also in European courts, there reigned at the time consider- 
able lawlessness. Assassination was a usual political weapon; at Byzan- 
tium, Cairo, and all the Asiatic cities intrigue, murder, poisoning, were 
the order of the day. Vengeance was assuaged by horrible massacres, 
human life counted for naught either with the Christians or the Moslems. 
No one was sure of his life for the morrow, and those who held their own 
lives so cheap were all the more indifferent to the fate of others. 

KING OF ARMENIA, An important event took place at the 

GUY OF LUSIGNAN death of Leo IV (1342). As this king had no 
(CONSTANTINE II) male heir he named as his successor the third 
1342-1344 son of his sister Isabel, Guy of Lusignan, his 

nearest kinsman, who at the time of the mur- 
der of his mother and brothers had been in safety with thp Greeks. Con- 
sequently the crown of Cilicia passed from the Armenian princes to a 
French family of nobles, and the kingdom of Armenia thus became a coun- 

(1) Chap. XXIII. 

— 250 — 

try under Latin government. In those days when the State was synony- 
mous with the ruler, this was a far-reaching change, for Latin influence 
would necessarily predominate and national tradition would suffer. For 
this reason the majority of the Armenian inhabitants remained hostile 
to the new reigning family. Their clergy and nobility realized that their 
national identity might disappear, and this would undoubtedly have been 
the case if the principalities of the Crusaders had been destined to last 

Guy was the son of Amaury of Lusignan, Count of Tyre, and of 
Isabel of Armenia. He was the nephew of Henry II of Cyprus. This 
prince had been living since 1318 at Constantinople with his aunt Xene or 
Mary, the wife of Michael IX Palaeologus 
(1295-1320) and the mother of Emperor 
Andronicus (1328-1341). He was Imperial 
governor of Pheres (Serrhes) in Macedonia, 
and his first wife was a cousin of John Can- 
tacuzene (1341-1355). Having opposed the 
usurper of the throne of John V Palaeo- 
logus, he was forced to open the gates of 
Pheres to Michael and retired to Constan- 
tinople. In 1342 Guy knew that Leo had 

chosen him for the Armenian throne, but he was not anxious to accept 
the honor, knowing as he did the desperate straits the kingdom was in. 
First of all he refused and asked his brother John, the Constable, Isabel's 




other son who lived at Rhodes, to take the crown. Yielding to John's 
entreaties, he finally set out for Armenia, accompanied by a considerable 

Disturbed by this change of dynasty and by the intimate connection 

— 251 — 

about to exist between Armenia and the 
kings of Cyprus and the western powers, 
the Moslems called for payment of the an- 
nual dues paid them by Leo. Guy haught- 
ily refused, whereupon war flared up again. 
The new king who reigned as Constantine II 
upheld his reputation for valor, and during 
COIN OF GUY OF LUSIGNAN the two years of his reign (1342-1344), he 
(CONSTANTINE II) prevented any Moslem encroachment on his 

Guy was of the opinion, however, like Hetum and most of his pre- 
decessors, that the best policy for the Armenians, if they were to receive 
from the western world the assistance they so absolutely needed, was to 
adopt the Roman way of worship. Two ambassadors were sent to Avig- 
non, and the king called together all the chief dignitaries of the Armenian 
Church to discuss the manner in which the union might be brought about. 
These negotiations aroused the ire of some of the nobles who were already 
very vexed by the king's determination not to purchase peace from the 
Moslems by abandoning territory. The malcontents stirred up a riot in 
which the king was slain together with three hundred Frankish guards- 
men whom Guy had brought with him to Armenia. "Great pity it was 
"for Christendom, the death of so good a prince, for he was brave and 
"valorous and very enterprising." 

"When the good king Guy de Lisslgnan reigned in Armenia, he 
"governed the country with puissance, valiancy, and sovereignty. He 
"loved and served God with all his heart, and upheld and defended the 
"common cause with all his power, and the country's freedom did he 
"most diligently protect, without paying any truce-money whatever to 
"the infidels. Without respite he withstood his foes and took the field 
"against them very frequently. And because some Armenians were of 
"the opinion that he overworked them and too often took them into battle, 
"a great number of them gathered together and arming themselves pro- 
"ceeded to the place where their natural liege, Guy, was with his brother 
"Sir Bemon de Lisegnan, Count of Courch. And without giving them 
"any warning, they killed them, putting them to death feloniously and 
"treacherously, falsely and without cause, and with them a very, large 
"number of men-at-arms whom he had brought with his company from the 
"Western Country to protect the land of Armenia. And those Armenians 
"also killed a priest belonging to the king's household, while he was 

— 252 — 


1344 1363 

"chanting the Mass. All this they did in one day in the city of Adenez 
[Adana]," (1) 

The nobles elected Constantine (1344- 
1363), the eldest son of Baldwin of Neghir, 
who had died in 1336 in the prison-house of 
the Emir of Aleppo. For the first time the 
kingdom of New Armenia chose a ruler out- 
side of the baronial house of Hetum. The new monarch was, however, 
related to the royal dynasty by his marriage with Mary, the daughter of 
the Regent Ochin and Joan of Anjou. 

The first act of this sovereign was infamous. He confiscated the 
property of Soldane, the wife of John of Lusignan, and her children Bo- 
hemon and Leo, aged five and two years respectively, and shut up the 
princess and the two little boys on the island of Gorigos where he attempted 
to kill them by sending them poisoned honey. Failing in this, he ordered 
the three captives to be drowned. Soldane was warned fortunately and 
escaped with her two children to Cyprus, where she placed herself under 
the protection of Hugh IV^ of Lusignan. 


Meanwhile negotiations with the Pope continued, and Guy's dele- 
gates were still at Avignon when that king was assassinated. Constan- 
tine had hardly ascended the throne when at the request of Pope Clement 
VI's legate, he summoned a new 
Council at Sis (1345), which as- 
sembly discussed the one hun- 
dred and seventeen errors im- 
puted to the Armenians and set 
forth in a Memorandum pre- 
sented to Benedict XH. Once 
more, the Armenians agreed to 
accept all the stipulations of the 
Holy See. 

During this time, Armenia 


(1) Jean DARDEL, chap. XXXIX. 

— 253 — 


had still to fight against its age-long enemies and once more lost the port of 
Aias. Things were becoming more critical every day, but no power in 
Europe intervened in behalf of the Armenians notwithstanding the re- 
peated entreaties of Pope Clement 
VI. Through the support of the 
Grand Master of Rhodes, Dieu- 
donne of Gozon, Aias was restored 
to Constantine, but towards the end 
of the same year, the port was 
blockaded and captured by the 
Egyptian fleet, and the Turcomans 
of Iconium, who were already in 
possession of Phrygia, marched on 
Tarsus. At this time the kings of France and England had just signed a 
two-years' truce, and Philip VI died the same year (1350). Edward III 
turned a deaf ear to the appeals of the Holy See which, although still 
involved in the religious problems with the Armenians, continued to assist 
Constantine with frequent subsidies. While the church discussions dragged 
on, the distance between Sis and Avignon making them extremely lengthy, 
Moslem attacks on Armenia went on relentlessly. In 1359 Sultan Al 
Melek-en-Nascer Hassan's army invaded Cilicia, took Sis, Adana, Tarsus, 
and all the lowlands, stationed garrisons there and carried off an enor- 
mous quantity of booty to Aleppo. On top of this the Moslems of Kara- 
man came and besieged Gorigos (Curco), which was delivered by Peter I 
of Cyprus. 

The Cypriots thereupon armed a fleet of one hundred and forty-six 
galleys which was joined by the naval forces of the Knights of Rhodes 
and those of the Pope. In command of this imposing navy, Peter I of 
Lusignan captured Satalia and achieved a few other successes, but con- 
sidering that the Eastern Latins were not numerous enough to be a match 
for their enemies, he decided to go to Western Europe and ask for re- 
inforcements, and accordingly set sail for Venice. He took with him Bo- 
hcmon of Lusignan, the son of John and nephew of the late king Guy, 
whom one Armenian party wanted for their king. It was Peter's inten- 
tion to have Bohemon crowned by the Pope, but this prince died at Venice 
£tt the age of twenty-four. By reason of this death, Peter might have 
laid claims to the crown of Sis, but the king of Cyprus was concerned with 
more far-reaching matters; his endeavor was to bring about a new Cru- 
sade. John the Good, at the urgent prayer of Urban V took the cross 

— 254 — 

and asked two years in which to get ready, but his death which occurred 
on April 19th, 1364, frustrated this new venture. 

Peter 1 continued nevertheless with his plans, seeking support and 
recruits throughout western Europe, and obtaining money with Urban 
V's assistance. 

In 1363, Constantine III of Armenia died 
CONSTANTINE IV leaving no heir. A party of Armenians wrote 
KING OF ARMENIA, to the Pope claiming the crown for Guy's heirs. 
1365-1373 Urban V nominated Leo (1363-1365), a near 

kinsman of Peter I. During this time, how- 
ever, the Armenian party who were opposed to the Lusignan^s, and con- 
sidered them as usurpers, obtained the election of Constantine IV (1365- 
1373), the son of Hetum, Chamberlain of Armenia, and nephew of Mar- 
shall Baldwin, the father of Constantine III. Peter accepted the fait 
accompli, and Constantine recognized him as his suzerain, with the 
result that the king of Cyprus thereafter gave assistance to his feudatory 
and helped Armenia tremendously against the Moslems. The Venetians 
and Genoese, and the Aragonese, remained neutral in these conflicts. They 
had signed trade treaties with the Sultans of Egypt, and notwithstanding 
the Pope's threats of excommunication against any Christians dealing 
with the Moslems, they were only concerned with the success of their 
business. Anyone but Peter would have lost courage at being abandoned 
by the very people who had so generously contributed to the success of 
the first Crusades, but nothing could cool his fervor and on June 27th, 
1365, he valiantly set sail from Venice with thirty galleys commanded by 
French, Italian, German, and English knights. Two Byzantine nobles 
also accompanied them. He sailed to Rhodes, where he formed his small 
army consisting of ten thousand men and one thousand knights, un- 
doubtedly all of them arrant freebooters. Alexandria in Egypt was taken 
by storm and sacked, but abandoned when the Mamelukes later counter- 
attacked. From Egypt he turned northward and laid waste all the Syrian 
coast as far as Aias, where he was withstood by the fortresses, and was 
unable to obtain Constantine's help in time. 

La li bon roy, que Dieus aye, 
Atendoit le roy d'Ermenie 
Et ses messages H manda, 
Et au partir leur commanda 
Qu'il li deissent qu'il venist, 

— 255 — 


Et que convenant li tenist, 

Et venist a tout son effort 

Pour li faire aide et confort, 

Car il est venus comme amis 

Einsi comme il li a promis. 

Quand ce vint au chief des VIII jours, 

Au roy ennuia li sejours, 

Pour ce que le roy d'Ermenie 

Par devers lui ne venoit mie, 

Et pour river qui aprochoit .... (1) 

There the good King, whom God help, 

Awaited the King of Armenia 

And sent to him his messengers 

And commanded them on leaving 

That they tell him that he come, 

And that he keep his agreement, 

And come with all his might 

To give him aid and comfort, 

For he was come as his friend 

As indeed he had promised him. 

When it came to the end of 8 days. 

The King wearied of his waiting 

Because the King of Armenia 

Did not come to help him, 

And because of the approaching winter . . . ) 

The king of Cyprus thereupon returned to the West in search of 
fresh subsidies and troops, and while he was at Venice an Armenian de- 
putation arrived to offer him the crown. Setting sail for Cyprus on Sep- 
tember 28th, 1368, he was intending to cross over into Cilicia and be 
crowned when he was assassinated on January 16th, 1369, at Nicosia, 
by some nobles whom, it was said, he had offended by treating them dis- 
dainfully. Armenia meanwhile was again the prey of Moslem bands 
from Egypt, Syria, and Asia Minor. 

(1) Guillaume de MACHAUT. La Prise d^Alexandrie. 

— 256 — 

The chronicler writes: 

"After the death of the king, Constant [Constantine III] the tyrant, 
"the Armenians chose another king, son of Baron Heyton who was named 
"Constant [Constantine IV]. They did not elect him king on account 
"of noble birth but because of wealth, for he was of base-born Cypriot 
"extraction; and because the kingdom of Armenia was oppressed by the 
"Infidels, he sent word to the king of Cyprus of whose house he was that 
"it should please him to receive him in his kingdom freely, him and all 
"his estate, and that he should do with the kingdom of Armenia entirely 
"according to his good pleasure. When King Peter heard the petition 
"of King Constant of Armenia, he coveted the Seigneury thereof for 
"himself; he kept the aforesaid letters from the Holy Father [giving the 
"crown to Prince Leo of Lusignan] and did not show or hand them to 
"the said Sir Leo. But . . . God willed that he be frustrated in his intent 
"and did not allow him to transfer to Cyprus all the royal wealth of which 
"he had stripped the kingdom and robbed from the people's possessions, 
"for the Infidels then occupied the ports [excepting Gorighos]. And also 
"in the meantime King Peter of Cyprus was slain by his barons and 
"vassals. Thus it behooved King Constantine to remain in Armenia 
"against his will." 

Constantine IV seemed, moreover, to 
have taken little interest in his kingdom's 
welfare and to have made no effort to 
deliver his country from Moslem depreda- 
tion. The chroniclers figure him as a ty- 
rant, a kind of interloper who abandoned 
the government to Queen Mary (Miriam), 
the wife of the late king Constantine III. 
This princess sent embassies to her uncle 
Philip of Taranto, the Emperor of Con- 
stantinople, and to Pope Gregory XI. The 
latter stirred up all Europe in his desire to 
help the Armenians. 

Unfortunately the Latin cause in the 
East was irretrievably ruined by a dispute 
COINS OF CONSTANTINE IV which broke out among the Christians. The 
OF ARMENIA ^pset occurred on the island of Cyprus be- 

tween Venetians and Genoese over a ques- 

257 — 

tion of precedence. The island was laid waste and condemned to pay 
40,000 sequins to the Genoese. Finally, on January 12th, 1372, Peter II 
was crowned King of Cyprus at Nicosia and on the following October 
12th, King of Jerusalem at Famagusta. 

Leo, Isabel of Armenia's only surviving grand- 

LEO V son, had been brought up in Cyprus. Pope Urban 

OF LUSIGNAN V had suggested as early as 1365 that he should have 

KING OF the Armenian crown, but various schemings had kept 

ARMENIA ^ini from leaving the Cyprus court. On several 

1374-1375 occasions after Peter I's death, he refused the throne 

when offered to him. At last, however, upon the 

assassination of Constantine IV by his subjects (April 1373), Prince Leo 

yielded to the entreaties of the barons, the clergy, Queen Mary, and 

Queen Joan, and accepted the crown. The situation was desperate, and 

the bells that rang for the new sovereign's coronation sounded in fact 

the knell of the last Armenian kingdom. 

Even before Constantine IV's assassination, the insurgent barons had 
given the regency to Queen Mary. A letter from Pope Gregory XI (dated 
February 1st, 1372) to Philip III of Taranto, the titular emperor of 
Constantinople, bears this out. It reads: "Mary, Queen of Armenia, 
"niece of Philip of Taranto, asks the Pope to come to her assistance against 
"the Moslems who are greatly endangering her country; she has sent 
"John, the Bishop of Sis, as her ambassador to the Holy See, and the 
"latter expresses the desire that the Queen should find a husband among 
"the Latin nobles able to defend and govern Armenia. The Pope urges 
"John, Prince of Antioch and Regent of Cyprus, also the Venetians, the 
"Genoese and the Knights of Rhodes to help the Armenians. He desig- 
"nates Otto of Brunswick as having all the qualities that would fit him 
"to become Mary's husband In the present circumstances. (1)" 

The Pope's letter was not acted upon. Thereupon Queen Mary 
despatched to Peter II of Cyprus a knight. Lyon Hamoncy, and two 
citizens of Sis bearing a letter of which the substance has been preserved 
for us by Jean Dardel: (2) 

(1) RAYNALDI, ann. 1372, part XXX. 

(2) chap. LHI. 

— 258 — 







"Sire: The Queen of Armenia, the 
"former wife of the autocrat King Con- 
"stant the First, who today by common 
"assent holds the sovereignty of the king- 
"dom, and our Catholicos, our lord bar- 
'"ons and noble knights and all the people 
"hereby do humble obeisance to your 
"Lordship, and inform you that God has 
"wrought His will anent their king Con- 
"stant, son of Baron Heyton [Hetum], 
"who was no whit their true and natural 
"Sovereign. And now are they without 
"a king, and because their true and na- 
"tural sovereign is in this land of Cy- 
"prus and his name is Lord Lyon of 
"Lisegnan, your cousin, the Seneschal ot 
"Jerusalem, they do humbly beseech 
"Your Excellency to grant unto him per- 

"mission to depart from Cyprus and to come and receive the kingdom of 
"Armenia, his true heritage, because we are well aware that he has done 
"homage to you for the fief which he holds in your dominion through his 
"Lady. And should it be that your Lordship were unwilling to permit 
"him so to leave, you must know that the whole country and Christian 
"life of Armenia is perishing and falling to the Infidels, which God forbid 
"as it would be a great calamity and loss for Christendom. Wherefore, 
"Sire, for God's sake and for mercy's sake, do not suffer that this ruin 
"and disaster should happen in your day to Christendom." 


But Leo, being Peter IPs vassal by reason of his wife's fiefs and 
obliged to deal prudently with the king of Cyprus as his crown's only 
support, was unable, immediately upon acceptance, to go to Armenia and 
take up the reins of government. Peter replied to the Armenian delegates 
that he could not allow the prince to go until peace with the Genoese had 
been restored in the island, Leo was therefore obliged to continue with 

— 259 — 

the campaign against the Italians and to 
arrange for a provisional government in 
Armenia consisting of Queen Mary, Phe- 
mya, Constantine's sister, Bohemond, Count 
of Gorigos, and Baron Basil, the son of 
Baron Thoros. The future king's main an- 
xiety was how to increase the financial re- 
sources of the kingdom. This concern is 
easy to understand in view of the need of 
raising an army to meet the Moslems, but 
even Jean Dardel's memoirs which were mostly written at royal dictation 
rather show that Leo looked to the main chance in his personal affairs. 


The delegates returned to Armenia by the port of 
LEO V Gorigos, the only one that had not fallen to the Infidels. 

AT CYPRUS They were accompanied by the knight Constant, Leo's 
equerry, also by Manuel the interpreter, who were both 
entrusted with the duty of attending to the needs of the royal Treasury. 
When they arrived outside Sis, they had to cross the lines of Beydemur, 
governor of Damascus, who was besieging the capital but who withdrew 
soon after, finding himself unable to take it. 



Matters were meanwhile becoming worse for Peter II and Leo in 
Cyprus. The Genoese succeeded by stratagem in seizing the city of 
Famagusta, and having got possession of the rest of the island they de- 
manded from the inhabitants the huge sum of 2,560,000 ducats as war 
indemnity, plus interest at the fantastic rate of 60 per cent, besides the 
personal levies exacted for their own account by the Italian commanders. 
Leo was called on to pay the conquerors 36,000 silver bezants, equal to 
280 pounds of gold. His silverware, crown, and wardrobe were taken 
and only restored him on payment of three hundred ducats. In addition, 

260 — 

the Genoese admiral, Pietro de Campo Fregoso, the brother of Domenico, 
the Doge, kept for himself the finest jewel In the royal crown, a ruby, and 
extracted a promise of 10,000 gold florins to be paid him later. So much 
for Genoa's obedience to the Pope! Throughout the wars of the Cru- 
saders whether against the 
Moslems or the Greeks, the 
Genoese and Venetians had 
their eye only on profit. Some- 
times they gave a little assis- 
tance to their Latin brethren, 
but only as a business policy. 
Now that the Christian cause 
was irretrievably lost in the 
East, they had no further rea- 
son to retain the mask. fei;>c^i v:;''!:';/ ' -^ .:.,•■. "■"'.' '^'j^Z^J^ 

mm — — 

■lift -Jl 



The Cypriots, ground 
down by the extortions of the 
Genoese and of their ruler 

Peter II together with Peter's mother Catherine of Aragon, managed to 
meet the grievous demands on them, but Leo after surrendering all he had, 
was obliged to appeal to the Armenian treasury at Sis to help him out 
of the plight he was in through none of his own seeking. Before leaving, he 
had yet to give up to Catherine of Aragon his wife's fief with Its yearly 
revenue of 1,000 gold bezants, and also to undertake not to set foot 
inside the Castle of Gorigos, on the coast of Asia, although It had been 
ceded to the Armenians by the king of Cyprus. He was to occupy only 

the castle out at sea on an island 
some distance from the port. In 
this precarious situation, stripped 
by the Genoese and his own Lusig- 
nan family of the funds that he 
most urgently needed, the new king 
of Armenia landed on the shores of 
his kingdom on Easter Sunday, 
April 2nd, 1374. Leo was forced 
to conceal his resentment both from 
Cyprus and the Genoese, for they 
alone could furnish him the means 
to take the field and seize Tarsus, 

CMATIAU^«Mla> .X>>-w/ 


261 — 

which fortress was garrisoned by no more than three hundred Mamelukes. 
He sold his silverware and his wife's crown to money-lenders, and on re- 
ceipt of the proceeds the King of Cyprus sent him one hundred soldiers, 
men-at-arms or cross-bowmen, under the French equerry Sohier Doul- 
cart, a Genoese mercenary. These and a few cross-bowmen and archers 
whom he recruited at Gorigos made up the small army with which Leo 
hoped to be a match for the Infidels. The Genoese admiral, even though 
he had accepted the sums of money sent him, refused to supply the king 


(.- ilf 


^f' — 

with ships to attack Tarsus by way of the river, "because of the business 
alliance which the Genoese have with the Saracens." ("pour cause de 
I'aliance que les Jennevois ont avecques les Sarrasins pour le fait de leurs 

The poor young king's difficulties had only just begun. Thinking 
he could confide his plans to the Commandant at Gorigos who was an 
Armenian, Leo was treacherously betrayed, for the former notified the 
Moslem governor of Tarsus and made Peter II and the Genoese believe 
that Leo was gathering an army in order to cross over to Cyprus and 
fight for John of Lusignan, Prince of Antioch, against his nephew, the 
King of Cyprus. Leo had not a moment to lose, for the Genoese galleys 
would certainly soon arrive to take him prisoner. He sent his mother 
and wife to the city of Gorigos and he himself left the island where he 
had remained as he had promised, setting out at midnight with a few 
men. He landed over seventy-five miles from Gorigos, near the mouth 
of the Adana river. His knight Doulcart joined him on the following 
day with twenty-five horsemen and an equal number of cross-bowmen. 

— 262 — 

Unable to attack Tarsus, Leo decided to go to Sis, the seat of the 
Council of Regency. To reach the capital he had to cross a region in- 
fested with Mamelukes, therefore he needed to move with great speed. 
The cross-bowmen on foot could not keep up with the horsemen, and so 
Leo gave them guides and sent them by mountain by-passes. 

"And as soon as the heat of the day was past, Sir Leo and his com- 
''pany made the sign of the cross and commended themselves to God. 
"They mounted the 25 horses, while the 25 arbalesters with two guides 
"went on foot. They proceeded until nightfall when the two guides told 
"my Lord Leo that he must go forward with speed, for there were many 
"dangerous places on their way manned with Turks and Saracens who 
"knew of his coming and whom he would have more trouble getting by 
"in the daytime than at night. Therefore Sir Leo started to go fast, and 
"because he saw that the 25 arbalesters afoot could not follow him, he 
"gave them one of the guides to lead them by another way in the moun- 
"tains. They went two days and two nights without dismounting, and so 


"long and forced was their effort and so great the heat they suffered, that 
"two of their company died. Nevertheless, by the grace of God, they 
"passed unharmed through the midst of their enemies guarding the passes, 
and they came to within three leagues of the city of Sis. It was not yet 
"day, and they dismounted to rest and refresh themselves and their 
"horses, for they were sore exhausted. And at day-break, Sir Leo sent 

263 — 

"two messengers on horseback to the city of Sis, to the Queen and citizens, 
"to acquaint them with his arrival. (1) 

Preceded by the Catholicos, prelates, and nobles, a crowd of citizens 
came out with music and dancing to welcome their king. They were 
transported with joy, for they had become so utterly discouraged that a 
number of people were thinking of revolting and killing the members of 
the Regency, and then surrendering the city to the Infidels. 

One hundred and fifty armed men, sent out four days later by the 
king's orders to the mouth of the river Seihan, brought back his mother 
and the Queen as far as Anazarbus without encountering the enemy. Un- 
fortunately because of the unwillingness of the people of Gorigos to 
supply means of transport for the Latins who had accompanied the two 
princesses to that city, many of them could not leave. The princesses with 
their suite left Anazarbus about noon and arrived about a league from 
Sis a little before nightfall. 

"When the aforesaid Ladies and their company were one league 
"away from Sis, they sent word to my Lord Leo who immediately had 
"the trumpets sound a call to arms, and he armed himself and ordered 
"his French and Armenian men-at-arms that had remained with him, so 
"to do. Then went out my Lord Leo and his company to meet the Ladies, 
"and there followed him all the people in a great procession, each with 
"a torch in his hand. And when they had met the Ladies, they welcomed 
"them with great joy and great festivity. And when night fell, they lit 
"their torches of which there were so many that they extended from one 
"end of the city to the other, almost one league in length. (1)" 

After enjoying for a few days his happy arrival, Leo, who was wor- 
lied over the low estate his unfortunate kingdom had fallen into, and who 
had long been cherishing thought-out plans for reorganizing it, enquired 
concerning the state of the Treasury. Besides the royal assets, it was 
supposed to contain 100,000 ducats which had been previously offered 
him. Great was his disappointment when he found that the Treasury 
was empty and that all that was left in it, according to Dardel, was a 
crown. In vain did they try to explain to him that the Regency had been 
compelled not only to buy off the Moslems with money but to appease 
likewise the leaders of factions within the city of Sis itself. The king was 
not satisfied with these excuses, and on looking over the accounts show- 

(1) Jean DARDEL, chap. LXXII. 
(1) Jean DARDEL, chap. LXXV. 


ing the disbursements he considered them excessive. Thereupon, acting 
on the denunciation of the prelates, the barons, and the people, he threw 
into prison Mariam, the widow of Constantine III and Baron Basil, as 
responsible for the Regency's extravagances. It was his intention, how- 
ever, to pardon them generously on the day of his coronation. 

Leo wanted to be crowned by a Roman bishop, 
CORONATION but this decision caused so much discontent that it 
OF LEO V was agreed to have a double ceremony, the Latin 

ritual to be followed by the Armenian. The coro- 
nation took place in the church of St. Sophia at Sis on September 14th, 
1374. Queen Marguerite of Soissons was crowned with the same 

This double coronation was a very serious mistake politically, for 
the Armenians who were as exclusive as the Byzantines in their religious 
beliefs, looked on the Catholic ceremony as an insult to the Gregorian 
ritual, and their discontent took form later in betrayal. 

The treasury was empty, the country ruined, the enemy held every 
province and every city, except Anazarbus and Sis and a few castles 
around those two places. The army of the young Egyptian Sultan, Melik- 
el-Ashraf Chaaban, ruled unchallenged in the greater part of Cilicia, and 
two Turcoman chiefs, Daoudbash and Bukabir (Abu-Bekr) occupied the 
suburbs of Sis with eleven thousand men under each of them. These 
barbarians, however, did not show hostility to the Armenians; their 
clemency went even so far as to supply the capital and the neighboring 
castles with the food they required. Daoudbash sent presents to Leo 
on the day he was crowned, and the king of Armenia thinking it would 
be easy to deal with this intruder, sent him gifts in return accompanied by 
preliminary steps towards renewing the truce on the old terms. The 
king was reckoning, however, without his own subjects. 

Not only did these tragic days not prevent the malcontents among 
the Armenians from raising the questions of ritual on the coronation day, 
but these same people deliberately brought on war by making false re- 
ports to Daoudbash. For three months Sis was besieged. The Latin 
cross-bowmen caused, however, so many losses to the Turcomans who 
fought without body-armor, that Daoudbash renewed the old agreement 
by which he undertook to supply Sis with its food requirements in return 
for tribute payment. 

There was living in Cairo at this time an Armenian renegade named 

— 265 — 

Ashot. This man was a son of Baron Ochin and brother of Constantine 
Ill's widow. The Armenian party opposed to the Lusignans, claiming 
that Ashot had a right to the crown, urged him to come with an Egyptian 
army and take possession of his dominion. 

The Turcoman chief Bukabir, who was more or less 
SIEGE OF under Cairo's orders, was at Ashot's request given in- 

SIS structions to reduce Sis by hunger, and on the pretence 

that he had not received the tribute to which he was 
entitled, he stopped sending in food suppUes. At the same time, Leo's 
enemies were secretly offering to deliver the city to the Infidels. Warned 
by his spies that the place was about to be attacked the king gathered 
the population into the fortified upper part of the city, and also into the 

The lower city surrounded by a wall that had not been long erected 
did not seem likely to offer adequate resistance, whereas the royal palace 
was protected by a fortified enceinte, proof against any surprise attack 
and spacious enough to shelter a part of the population. This enceinte 
took in, besides the palace, various other edifices including the Cathedral 
Church of St. Sophia. Jean Dardel calls this portion of the city "the bourg". 
Strong fortifications stood quite high up on the rock overlooking the city; 
these constituted the "chastel" of which V. Langlois (1) gives the follow- 
ing brief description: "The Sis-Kalessi is oval-shaped; it has three gates, 
"three enceintes, and encloses various buildings. On account of the shape 
"of the rock it is built upon, the castle walls are irregular and unequal In 
"height. The fortress is flanked by towers and bastions. Owing to the 
"irregular shape of its structures, the castle is divided Into three parts 
"based on each of the three chief summits of the rock. Empty spaces 
"separate these different constructions, which are nevertheless Intercon- 
"nected by paths hewn In the rock and skirting the cliffs. The southern 
"side where stood the keep was more carefully fortified than any other 
"point of the fortress." 

On January 15th, 1375, Bubakir with fifteen thousand men captured 
the lower part of Sis, which was sacked, but the upper city and the castle 
remained Impregnable. 

According to Jean Dardel (2) whose testimony cannot be considered 
Impartial, there then ensued a most abominable piece of treachery. Those 

(1) Voyage en Cilicie, p. 384. 

(2) Chap. XC. 

266 — 

who had never sincerely accepted the union of the Armenian church with 
that of Rome and those who hated the Latin house of Lusignan, joined up 
with all the other malcontents and decided to obtain peace once for all by- 
submitting to the Sultan of Egypt. The Catholicos Paul I (1374-1378) 
was one of the chief instigators of this frightful betrayal, showing that he 
preferred the temporal domination of one of Islam's rulers, rather than 
the spiritual supremacy of the Pope. Seventy-five years later, the same 
religious intransigence caused the ancient capital of the Greek Emperors 
to fall likewise into the Infidels' hands. 

In answer to the call of the enemies of the Lusignans and the Pope, 
Emir Seif-ed-Din-Ichq Timur, governor of Aleppo, sent 15,000 men to 
assist the Turcomans, and on February 24th the Egyptians were seen 
pouring in under the walls of Sis. Realizing that the upper city could not 
withstand assault, Leo had it evacuated and set on fire that same night. 
This act reduced the kingdom of Armenia to the mere Castle of Sis. Even 
there the traitors were mingled with the defenders. 


More than thirty thousand of the enemy thronged around the Castle 
amid the ruins of the city and the "bourg". Leo feeling the final assault 
to be at hand gathered around him the nobles and clergy, and called on 
all to swear to be obedient and faithful to the Christian religion and to 
their sovereign, and he himself swore upon the gospels, held by the Bishop 
of Hebron, that he would die for Christ. He at the same time solemnly 
called on the nobles and clergy to denounce and punish the traitors (1). 

On the morrow the Moslems began the attack, but the only point 

(1) Jean DARDEL, Chap. XCII. 

— 267 — 

ihey could reach on the steep rocky cliffs was the level space in front of 
the fortress gate. The besieged put up a vigorous resistance; the king him- 
self was shooting with his cross-bow when he was struck by an iron mis- 
sile which broke his jaw and tore away three of his teeth. Leo withdrew 
inside the castle to have his injury dressed, while the Saracens who had 
suffered much loss also returned to their tents. (2) 

That same evening Seif-ed-Din sent the Christian monarch a letter 
informing him: "That the Sultan his Lord had sent him word to let him 
"[Leo] know that if he consented to surrender the castle and become a 
"Saracen, he, the Sultan, would make him his Grand Admiral and restore 
"him his whole country." Leo replied in a worthy manner, that he was 
determined to die rather than deny his God, and he offered to pay tribute 
to the Sultan as in the past if the siege were raised and his possessions re- 
stored to him (1). 

This reply angered the Moslems, and they made several further at- 
tempts to take the castle by storm, but without success. (2) Meanwhile, 
however, the traitors were busy communicating with Seif-ed-Din, telling 
him of the king's injury and serious condition and informing him that 
hunger would soon compel the opening of the gates. (3) 

Not content with scheming with the enemy, the leaders of the sedition, 
finding the king adamant to their treacherous counsels, decided to do away 
with him. The Catholicos, Baron Basil, and King Constantine's widow 
(who had married the Cyprus knight Matthew Cappe and was herself 
the sister of the renegade Ashot) incited Cappe, by alluring promises, to 
commit this deed. This traitor turned against the king some of the sol- 
diers who were from Cyprus, and with them during the night broke into 
the castle-keep where Leo dwelt. The Armenian guards were massacred 
to a man. "When the king, who lay so ill on his bed that he was helpless 
"by reason of the wound from the projectile, heard the assault, he made 
"an effort and took his coat of mail and armed himself as best he could. 
"With him in his bed-chamber were two Armenian knights and one Greek 
"cross-bowman who was the chief engineer and was named Costa de Les- 
"mirre. When these three heard the attackers breaking down the door of 
"the king's room with hatchets to get inside and kill the king and them- 
"selves, the Greek took the king and tied him to a strong rope and let him 

(2) Jean DARDEL, chap. XCIII. 

(1) Jean DARDEL, chap. XCIV. 

(2) Id., chap. XCV. 

(3) Id., chap. XCVI. 

— 268 

'"down by a privy to the second castle, they all three following after 
'him. (4) 

The king took refuge with Queen Mary and found his knight Doul- 
cart, who knew nothing of the plot of the Latin mercenaries. He informed 
those in the castle of the attempt on his life which he had just escaped, 
and fearing for the queen and her children imprisoned in the keep, he 
offered to pardon the insurgents. The latter would not listen, and a fight 
consequently ensued. Four times the loyal Armenians tried to take the 
keep and each time they were repelled (5). 

Meanwhile the rebels were letting the enemy in 
SIS by means of ropes, and a few Moslems had already 

TAKEN BY joined them when a Jacobite friar who had accom- 

THE MOSLEMS panied the bishop of Hebron to Sis and was then in 
the keep, fearful of having to embrace Islam, se- 
cretly let in a number of Armenians who got possession of the fort. 

Thereupon the Catholicos and the other conspirators stirred up the 
people against the king, and persuaded the Armenians to surrender the 
castle to the Moslems. They all forsook their sovereign and, breaking 
down the gates, let the enemy in. Leo, suffering from his injury and 
stretched on his bed, had with him only his wife and children and the 
faithful knight Sohler Doulcart. A handful of soldiers alone defended 
the keep which he still held. But their food was 
SIS CASTLE exhausted, and In this terrible position Leo could 

CAPITULATES offer no further resistance. He accepted the decree 
1357 of Fate, and sent a message to the Moslem leader. 

Following a very courteous exchange of letters, 
Ishki-Timur sent the king a safe-conduct. He wrote: "We do grant him 
"this letter, that he may come down from the Keep and surrender it to 
'•the mighty Sultan, and then proceed wherever he please. The safe- 
"conduct is for him, his queen, their children and also for his personal 
'•belongings and suite, so that he may be respected and honored by all." 
But the poor king had slight trust in the victor's word. He made his 
confession, heard mass, and took communion; then hardly able to walk, 
with his head completely bandaged, he came down from the keep fol- 
lowed by his family. This was April 13th, 1375, less than ten months 

(4) Jean DARDEL, chap. XCVH. 

(5) Jean DARDEL. chap. XCIX. 

— 269 — 

after King Leo V of Lusignan had left the island of Cyprus and set foot 
on Armenian soil. 

The Sultan offered to restore him his kingdom provided he embraced 
Islam. Leo refused with dignity. He was offered one of the 
castles in Cilicia to live in, but he declined, realizing that within a few 
years the Moslems would get rid of him. He thought of going to Cyprus, 
but learning that he would be assassinated on the way, he abandoned the 
plan, and threw himself on the mercy of Sultan Ashraf of Egypt. 

After his victory over the Christians, Ishki-Timur 
LEO V*S entered with pomp into Aleppo, the city en fete, with 
CAPTIVITY the king and queen of Armenia, their children, Queen 
Marlam, Sohier Doulcart and his wife, the Countess of 
Gorigos, the Catholicos Paul I, the Armenian barons and the chief citi- 
zens of Sis following behind him. Inside the city the prisoners had to 
prostrate themselves several times before their conqueror in the presence 
of the inhabitants. Finally, on May 1st, Leo left Aleppo for Cairo where 
he arrived on July 9th. 

Notwithstanding the promise contained in the safe-conduct delivered 
in his name, the Sultan refused to allow Leo to go to Europe. He was 
afraid lest he should start a new Crusade, and he therefore kept him at 
Cairo, decently treated but closely watched. 

The king of Cyprus interceded with the Egyptian ruler for Leo's 
release, but no consent could be obtained from the councillors of the new 
young Sultan Melik-Mansur AH who had ascended the throne after his 
father Ashraf Chabaan's assassination (March 16th, 1377). Leo wrote 
to the Pope, to the Emperor of Constantinople, to the king of France, 
and to other European monarchs; some of them also interceded on his 
behalf, but none met with any success. 

That same year, In July, there arrived at Cairo a number of western 
pilgrims, nobles, knights, equerries, and others bound for Sinai and Jeru- 
salem. Among them was a Franciscan monk named Jean Dardel, a 
native of Etampes, and a Grey Friar of the Province of France. He was 
asked to say mass for King Leo and had a long talk with him. Leo nar- 
rated to him all his woes and confided to him hopes he still cherished, 
with the result that he induced the friar to remain with him. Dardel 
thus became not only the king's chaplain but his councillor and ambassador. 

— 270 — 

Bearing the king's ring and letters for the rulers 
DELIVERANCE of Europe, Dardel left Cairo on September 11th, 1379, 
OF LEO V and obtained from the kings of Castille and Aragon 
the amounts needed to purchase Leo's freedom. The 
ambassadors sent from Spain to Cairo at last succeeded in getting permis- 
sion for the prisoner to leave Egypt. On October 7th, 1382, the king 
of Armenia sailed from Alexandria, accompanied by the friar Jean Dardel 
whom upon his arrival at Rhodes (October 21st) he made Chancellor 
of his realm. 

Leo V of Lusignan's subsequent life was like that of all exiled mon- 
archs. Nowhere did he find any willingness such as he had hoped for, 
to help him get back his kingdom. Kings Peter of Aragon and John of 
Castille treated him generously, and Pope Clement VII of Avignon whom 
Leo opted for in preference to Urban VI, the pontiff at Rome, awarded 
him the "Golden Rose", not forgetting Jean Dardel who was given the 
bishopric of Tortiboli in the province of Benevento. This episcopal see, 
however, could not be taken over by the Franciscan nominee because 
Tortiboli was then under Urban VI's control. 

The king of Navarre, Charles II, whom Leo visited, lavished gifts 
on him, and the Count of Foix was also equally generous. With pensions 

from the kings of France, England, Aragon, and 

LEO V'S Castille, Leo V withdrew to the castle of St. Ouen 

DEATH AT PARIS generously bestowed on him by Charles VI. He 

1393 died on November 29th, 1393, in the Palais des 

Tournelles, Rue St. Antoine, opposite the Hotel 
St. Paul, where the kings of France generally lived. His body was in- 
terred at the Celestine monastery where it remained until the Revolution, 
when his remains were scattered to the wind along with those of so many 
other sovereigns. His tomb, transferred at first to the museum of French 
Antiquities (Musee des Petits Augustins), was placed, at the Restoration, 
in the vaults of the royal tombs at St. Denis where it lies today. Around 
the border of the tombstone runs the epitaph: "Here lieth the very noble 
"and excellent prince Lyon the Fifth of LIzIngue [Lusignan] Latin King 
"of the Kingdom of Armenia whose soul departed to God on the 29th 
"day of November in the year of grace 1393. Pray for him." (1) 

■[ (D'^'Cy gist tres noble et excellent prince Lyon de Lizingue quint roy latin 
du .royaj^pie d'Armenie qui rendit Fame a Dieu le XXIXe jour de novembre I'an 
de grace MCCCXCIII. pries pour lui. 

— 271 — 

Jean Dardel died before his master, on December 6th, 1384. The 
Bishop of Tortiboli was buried in his family burial-ground, the churchyard 
of St. Basil at Etampes. 

It is only through Dardel's chronicle that we 
know the events of Leo's brief and dramatic reign, 
and the Etampes monk who wrote as suggested, 
even as dictated, by the king, judges the Armenians 
quite severely. If we think, however, of the fate 
with which the Mamelukes were threatening the 
last defenders of the Christian kingdom, or the 
hunger they were enduring inside the Castle of 
Sis, we can hardly blame the ''Armins" so harshly 
as Dardel. They certainly cannot be exonerated 
altogether, but considering the desperation they 
were in they should be remembered charitably. 

Had there been a chronicler among the defenders of Sis, we should prob- 
ably have had the events related to us in quite a diflferent manner from 
that of Dardel's writings, but unfortunately we have no means of judging 




(from a drawing given by K. J. Basniadjian 

From the day that Rupen raised his standard of revolt until that 
of the fall of the Castle of Sis, i.e. during the whole of the three centuries 
that it lasted. New Armenia had been one perpetual battle-field. Its cities 
and countryside were laid waste one hundred times by the invading Mos- 
lems. The inhabitants were massacred and carried away into slavery, 
and the Armenians who had seen all the Latin States in the East fall one 
after the other could only trust in the help of the Almighty. But courage 
failed them. 

Apart from this dejection due to their misfortunes, however, there 
are some charges that the Armenians cannot be acquitted of. Their poli- 
tical and religious dissensions and the ambitions of the barons contributed 

— 272 — 

to the kingdom's downfall. In the latter part of the 14th century the 
claimants to the throne were very numerous, and the religious factions 
maintained all their intolerance of old. Leo V as a Latin Catholic would 
subscribe to no concession, and the Catholicos, Paul I (Boghos), afraid 
lest his church should submit completely and irretrievably to the Pope's 
requirements was on principle hostile to the Lusignan family. All the 
clergy and a part of the population, also a majority of the nobles, shared 
the apprehensions and resentment of the Catholicos. Unity in the face of 
the Moslem enemy was absent among the Armenians, and such was un- 
fortunately the case throughout the Christian world in the East- At 
Byzantium, hatred for the Latins was even more intense, and only in its 
dying hours did the Empire look towards western Europe, when it was 
too late. 

Nevertheless, this small kingdom founded by men from far off in 
the East and Europeanized by contact with the Crusaders wrote a hand- 
some page in the great epic of the Middle Ages. Despite disturbances 
and wars, amid the greatest perils, the Armenians of Cilicia devoted 
themselves to literature and art, built churches, monasteries, castles and 
fortresses, and engaged in commerce. In short, even throughout the hor- 
rors of war, this principality showed surprising vitality. Its downfall 
was caused by the disaster that befell the Crusaders, but whereas the 
Latins withdrew to their western lands the Armenians had to endure for 
centuries the yoke of their conquerors. From the time that the Western- 
ers' domains were reduced to the island of Cyprus, discouragement seized 
the Christians of Asia, and the drama that ended the death-throes of the 
city of Sis, now that we can view it at a distance of five centuries, deserves 
censure less severe than that passed by its contemporary, Dardel. Mis- 
takes were made, but if we compare the heroic resistance of the Armenians 
for two centuries with the supineness with which most Eastern Christians 
bowed to Islam's yataghan, we cannot but admire this small number of 
brave people, and find their faults effaced by the courage they manifested 
up to the last hour, until every hope had faded. 

In 1384 Pope Gregory XIII, in his Bull "Ecclesia Romana", does 
signal justice to the Armenians, and this homage of the sovereign Pontiff 
should not be forgotten. He wrote: "Among the other merits of the 
"Armenian nation as regards the Church and Christendom, there is 
"one that is outstanding and deserves particularly to be remembered, 
"namely, that when in times past the Christian princes and armies went 
""forth to recover the Holy Land, no nation, no people came to their aid 

— 273 — 

"more speedily and with more enthusiasm than the Armenian^, giving 
"them assistance in men, horses, food supplies, and counsel; with all their 
"might and with the greatest bravery and fidelity, they helped the Chris- 
"tians in those holy wars." 




* * 

274 — 

Armenia After Its Loss of Independence 

■ As we have seen, in 1045 Ani and its surrounding kingdom canie 
under the rule of Constantinople, and its last king Gaghik II was assas- 
sinated by the Greeks in 1079 during his captivity in Imperial territory; 
also in 1064 Alp-Arslan finally conquered Greater Armenia, and in 1375 
the kingdom of Leo V of Lusignan came to an end. (1) From the 11th 
century until our present day, the inhabitants of Greater Armenia were 
consequently the Rayahs of the Moslems, as also were those of New 
Armenia from the beginning of the 14th century. The people living 
north of the Araxes emerged from under Islam's yoke, however, in 1827 
when they fell to the Russian government of the Czar. 

Much of the population of these two countries had, for years and 
years already, fled from their homeland during the terrible wars that 
have always laid waste the Ararat regions, but the emigration reached 
its greatest peak in the Middle Ages. The horrible deeds of the Arabs, 
Turks, and Mongols, together with the knowledge that the morrow would 
be still worse, impelled a large portion of the unhappy inhabitants to seek 
other lands. A good number of Armenian colonies were founded in the 
Old World, and later in the New. Consequently, dating from the conquest 
of Armenia by the Caliphs, this nation's history is divided into two very 
difFei-ent branches, that of the enslaved people's struggle for existence, 
and that of the descendants of Haik living in foreign countries. Although 
contemporary, I have thought it wiser to deal with each of these phases 
separately so as to give a clearer idea of the distinct development of the 
Armenians in each of these dissimilar environments during this period of 

(1) After the death of Leo V the rulers of Cyprus took the title of kings of 
Ai-meDia'. Those who bore this title are: Jacques I, king of Cyprus, 1393-1398; 
Janus, 1398-1452; Jean II, 1452-1458; Charlotte and Louis of Savoy. 1458-1464; 
jaiques II, 1464-1473; Jacques IH, 1473-1475; Catherine Cornaro. 1475-1489. 

— 275 — 

The Arab conquest, although it marched under the particularly hate- 
ful banner of religion and was accompanied with unbelievable violence 
and cruelty, was mitigated nevertheless by the fact that in the early days 
of Islam the Mahometans were confronted with the Byzantine Empire, 
and dealing as they were with Christian inhabitants only, they were 
obliged to spare the unbelievers to some extent. The speedy triumphs 
of the followers of the Prophet might after all be only temporary, for 
the empire of Byzantium had not been overthrown like that of the Persian 
"King of Kings." The Caliphs behaved, therefore, less harshly to the 
Christians than to the Mazdeans, for the latter once conquered and sub- 
dued had no neighboring State to which they could look for support. 

In any case, however, as regards the Christians, all Mohammedans, 
whether Arab, Turkish, or Persian, followed the lines of policy prescribed 
for them in the Koran, which they applied with varying degrees of sev- 
erity, according to circumstances and their own differing characters. They 
all, throughout the centuries, looked on unbelievers as inferior beings, and 
their reason for not wiping them out to the last one was that they needed 
their labor to cultivate the soil and carry out the thousand and one jobs 
they themselves were too lazy or too proud to undertake. 

Within the Byzantine Empire, Christianity had considerably softened 
the institution of slavery, which in the western world had taken the form 
of serfdom. Among Eastern peoples, however, barbaric tradition remained 
in all its rigor, and the conquered fellow-being became his master's absol- 
ute property, might making right. 

From the very outset of Islam, therefore, the Christian was the 
Moslem's slave; he was the ray ah or herd, and even if not always applied 
absolutely, this primordial law with the Mohammedans remained the 
basis of the treatment they inflicted for centuries on those unbelievers 
unfortunate enough to fall into their hands and courageous enough not 
to deny their faith. If the Christian owned land or property, it was only 
by tolerance, and his masters could always take his possessions from him, 
even his children, for their own good pleasure. Their warrant for such 
cruelty they found in the book of the Prophet, the Koran, "a strange 
medley of dualism and double-dealing" wherein the two chapters "The 
Sword" and "War" give fierce orders to slay with the sword or enslave 
all unbelievers falling into the hands of the Faithful. These two last 
chapters, dictated by Mahomet when his power was assured, do not tally 
with the instructions he gave at the beginning of his conquests. Then he 
wrote: "O unbelievers, if you do not worship what I worship, keep for 

— 276 — 

"yourselves your religion, and I will keep mine for myself." These con- 
tradictions permit Moslems to swing as their interest dictates, from toler- 
ance to intolerance,, and whatever their treatment of Christians, to be 
always obedient to their Master's law. 

The Moslems allowed quantities of Greeks, Chaldeans, Armenians, 
and Copts to keep their religion and language, their religion because 
of the impossibility of making apostates of them all, and their language 
in order that the Christian should not mingle with the governing class, and 
that by his native tongue and customs he should always be conspicuous 
and despised of the true believer, whom he must work for and serve. This 
governing class, thus relieved of having to earn their daily bread, could 
consequently live a parasitical life of ease. This is what occurred in 

Armenia, Syria, Greece, Egypt, and North 
Africa as far as Morocco and Spain, through- 
out the vast Arab empire. It is still the case 
in Turkish countries, and would be so today in 
Persia were it not that this country' so long 
decadent has had to bow to the European Pow- 
ers and not ill-treat the unbelievers dwelling 

What suiferings and humiliation fell on 
those unfortunates whom cruel fate threw into 
the power of such infamous masters! Carr}--- 
ing weapons was forbidden to the "rayahs", 
whether Christian, Jewish, Mazdean, or Man- 
daean, to all who did not worship Allah. These 
people all had to wear special clothing so that 
they might be recognized on sight, and ordered 
about or ill-treated. The churches of the wor- 
shipers of the prophet Issa (Jesus) with their 
modest exteriors, without steeples or bells, 
were constantly the scene of wicked attacks, re- 
volting orgies, and frightful crimes, and the 
Christian had to remain mute and helpless 
in presence of the most infamous sacrilege and indignity. 

Not satisfied with their own cruelties, the Arabs, Turks, and Persians 
gave over Christian villages to the most barbaric of all Eastern peoples, 
the Kurds. We have seen in the preceding pages the behavior of the 
Emjrs of Azerbaidjan to the Armenians, and if now and then the rulers 






checked the fury of the Kurdistan bandits, it was only lest they should be 
unable to levy from a devastated Armenia the enormous taxation they 
lived on. Never did the Moslem show pity out of kindness or respect 
for humanity; he was ever motivated by interest alone. 

Hatred and contempt for the Christian were so anchored in the 
Moslem heart that an unbeliever was believed incapable of a good deed, 
and his duplicity caused him to attribute to Allah any generous act com- 
mitted by a Christian, who merely was a divinely provided instrument 
and not entitled to the Mohammedan's gratitude, which must go to the 
deity of whom he himself was the servant. 

After the downfall of the Bagratid kingdom 
TURKISH and the capture of Ani by the Seljuks, Turkish rule 

RULE extended as far as the foot of the great Caucasian 

OF ARMENIA chain, to the countries watered by the Kura and 
the Araxes. (1) The Armenians, Georgians, Im- 
eritians, and Mingrelians fought unceasingly against the invaders, who 
being nomads occupied all the pasturages of the lowlands, and whose 
beys maintained absolute rule in the cities of any size. Sometimes the 
Basileus of Constantinople sent a few troops, but generally these Irregular 
and insufficient arrivals only resulted in atrocious reprisals as soon as 
such assistance from the Emperor was out of the way again. Then 
later came the Mogul invasion which spread terror anew in Transcau- 
casia and the Ararat country. 

The Mongols started from Central Asia in the 
THE MONGOLS middle of the 11th century and crossed the Siberian 
IN ARMENIA steppes and the Persian tableland, subduing every 
tribe they encountered in their onrushing advance. 
These conquered peoples were mostly themselves of Turkish race, and 
spoke Jagatai. Their soldiers were constantly added to the Mongol army, 
with the result that the original element was gradually lost and when the 
Mongols arrived in Transcaucasia there were hardly any of the original 
stock left except the chieftains. 

In 1206 Genghis-Khan began his conquest of Asia. After vanquish- 
ing the tribes of the Turcoman steppe, he destroyed the Moslem dominion 
of Kharesm on the lower Oxus (about 1217). He then subdued Khora- 
san, Persia, Irak-Arabi, and northern India, bringing to naught in a few 

(1) In 1071 the Seljuks advanced as far as the interior of Cappadocia; in 1082 
the Ortokids took Jerusalem, and in 1092 the Seljuk empire was dismembered: 

— 278 — 

years aj] the work of the Arabs in those parts. His generals, Subada- 
BehaduT and Chapeh-Nuvian, entered Armenia and Georgia, passed 
through the pass of Derbend and the Gates of the Alans, and there was 
founded in southern Russia the empire of Kiphtchak (1223)) which ruled 
over the former Turkish tribes of the Comans and the Petchenegs.(2) The 
purely Mongolian armies that had left Central Asia had long ceased to 
exist, and except for the Mogul court the Mongol language was no longer 
even used. The name of Tartars subsequently came to include both con- 
querors and subjects, although they belonged to quite different races. 

The first time ( 1 22 1 ) , the whole 
basin of the Kura was laid waste 
despite the valiant struggles of the 
Georgians and Armenians, assisted 
by the Moslem emirs of Azerbaid- 
jan. In 1223 the Tartars were al- 
ready in the middle of Russia. 
Then, tired of looting they withdrew 
to the south to join their monarch 
Genghis-Khan who was proceeding 
with a big army from Khorasan 
towards Armenia. Dovin, Ani, and Gaq, all the region as far as Gandzak, 
fell into his hands, whilst Djelal-ed-Din, the sultan of Kharesm, who had 
been driven from his realm and was fleeing from the Mongols, invaded 
northern Armenia and Georgia. Pursued by the Tartars, this ruler was 
slain (1231) and his troops absorbed into the Mongol army which camped 
in every valley. The Georgians retreated into the mountains of the 
Caucasus and the Armenians into the massifs of Gougarq and the Gheut- 
tchai. Mango-Khan, Arghoun-Khan, Ghazan-Khan, and the other Mogul 




(Georgia) GEORGIA (Georgia) (1301-1307 . 

(1243.1269) (1273-1289) 

(2) In 1236 they captured Mpscow. Vladimir, and Kief, and in 1240 they were 
in Poland then in Hungary (1241); in 1242 they were defeated by Frederick IT 
in JUyThl ... 

— 279 

chiefs reigned over the whole country until in 1387 Timur the Lame 
(Leng) captured Greater Armenia and founded the second Tartar empire. 

The name of Tamerlane remained a frightful one in the memory of 
the Armenians. This chief overran the land spreading death and destruc- 
tion everywhere. In Siuniq, Airarat, Vaspurakan, and Turuberan, blood 
flowed in rivers. At Van all the inhabitants were thrown from the cliffs, 
and at Sivas the whole population was slaughtered and four thousand 
soldiers buried alive, while the victors' horsemen trampled the children 
to death. These horrors went on until Tamerlane died, when Armenia 
fell a prey first to the Turcoman tribes of the Black Sheep, and then to 
those of the White Sheep whose chief, Ouzoun-Hassan, proclaimed him- 
self Sultan of Persia in 1468. 

The ambition of these barbarian princes was unbridled. Not satis- 
fied with reigning over the whole Iranian tableland and over Transcau- 
casia and Armenia, Ouzoun-Hassan sought to expand his possessions 
still further at the expense of Mahomet II (1440-1481), the conqueror 





of Constantinople and Trebizond. It was to his cost, for he was defeated, 
and had to give up Armenia (1473) which thus fell for the first time into 
Ottoman hands. 

Just as in ancient times, this unhappy 
country again became the battlefield of rival 
empires. Forty-one years later, in 1514, the 
founder and first king of the Sefevis dynasty 
in Persia, Shah Ismail I (1501-1523) marched 
against the Turks, but he was defeated on the 
plain of Chaldiran by Sultan Selim I (1512- 
1520), the latter seizing all western and south- 
ern Armenia as far as Lake Urumiah. Sulei- 
man I (1520-1566) likewise took eastern Armenia from the Persians, and 

(14th Century) 

— 280 

Muiad III (1573-1595) obliged Abbas I (1585-1628) to surrender to 
him by treaty not only the whole of Armenia, but also Georgia and a 
part of Azerbaidjan including its capital, Tabriz. (1585) (1) 

Turkish government inaugurated for Armenia a re- 

PERSIAN gime of unbearable oppression and extortion for the in- 

RULE habitants, the leaders of whom, preferring Persian rule to 

that of the Osmanlis, sent a deputation to Shah Abbas I 

begging him to Intervene and resume possession of the Ararat regions. 

Although they had become Mohammedans, the Persians neverthe- 
less belonged to an ancient race which for centuries had headed Eastern 
civilization. The precepts of Zoroaster had softened their manners and 
given them ideas of justice that were unknown to Mongol, Turcoman, or 
Turk, They were therefore more tolerant to the Christians than the 

Shah Abbas seized the opportunity offered him to avenge himself 
of the defeats inflicted on Persia by the Turks since the days of Mahomet 
II. He invaded Azerbaidjan with a large army, seized the province of 
Ararat, and was pushing on his conquests when Sultan Ahmed I (1603- 
1617) who had just ascended the throne sent against him General SInan 
Pasha Djighale-Zade. Abbas did not feel he was a match for his op- 
ponent, and had to abandon Armenia, but In his retreat he left a wilder- 
ness behind him. so as to abandon to the Turks only a worthless country 
and took away colonies of industrious people to settle within his own 
dominions. Towns, villages, churches, monasteries, all were burned and 
reduced to ruins, and the whole population deported to Persia. These 
orders were carried out with Inconceivable cruelty. Those Inhabitants 
who refused to leave their ancestral homes were beaten and often killed. 
Finally endless caravans left for the direction of the Araxes, where the 
guards forced the exiles to swim across the river. Many of the unfor- 
tunates were drowned In the rapid stream. 

The deportees then proceeded across Azerbaidjan and Kurdistan 
to Isfahan, where the king founded (1605), under the name of New Julfa, 
a suburb of his capital which Is still inhabited solely by Christian Ar- 
menians. Shah Abbas showed himself well disposed towards the exiles, 
and any ill-treatment the poor people suffered during their migration was 

(J) Cf. KEVORK ASLAN. UArmenie et les Armeniens, 1914, chap. VT & VII- 
K J. BASMIDJIAN, Histoire moderne des Armeniens, p. 18 sq. 

— 281 — 

certainly not authorized by him, for as soon as Julfa-Isfahan-- was 
founded, he proclaimed freedom of religion throughout his dominions. 
He often attended religious ceremonies on Christian holidays, and always 
punished severely any of his subjects who insulted or molestd the Chris- 
tians. Unfortunately the successors of this generous ruler did not main- 
tain his policy of tolerance, and under the influence of the Moslem clergy 
who were almost all Arabs, they emulated the Turks in their cruelty to 
the Armenians, 

During this time war continued between the Persians and the' Otto- 
mans for the possession of the northern provinces, with varying results. 
Finally (1620) the Turks had to relinquish all eastern Armenia indiiding 
Etchmiadzin to the Shah. The Sultan had his hands too full with the. wars 
in Europe to be able to maintain his claims to eastern regions where it 
was so difficult to collect the taxes. 

Shah Abbas adopted a wise and far-sighted policy in his new prov- 
inces, the government of which he entrusted to Armenian nobles who 
under the title of Meliks enjoyed considerable independence and as His 
administrators served him faithfully. Under Abbas' successors, however, 
oppression and violence began again, and the Armenians considered the 
possibility of throwing off the Moslem tyranny. 

In 1678 the Catholicos Hakob IV secretly 

THE ARMENIANS called together at Etchmiadzin the chief Armenian 

APPEAL TO nobles, a dozen at most, and proposed to them 

EUROPE. that they accept the supremacy of the Pope and 

ORI appeal to the western Powers to obtain autonomy 

for Armenia. They would in fact revert to the 

negotiations undertaken of old by the kings of New Armenia. 

Following this secret meeting, a delegation set out. The Catholicos 
was to go first to Rome, but he died on the way at Constantinople,' and 
the discouraged delegates made a halt. One young man alone, aged 19, 
named Ori, departed hoping to succeed by himself in the difficult mis- 
sion. He reached France by way of Venice, enrolled in the army of 
Louis XIV, and was captured by the English. On his liberation he went 
to Germany where he obtained assistance from Prince Johann-Wilhelm 
of the Palatinate to whom he promised the Armenian crown. 

Ori returned to his country (1699) to prepare the revolution that was 
to win independence. The new Catholicos Nahapet I (1696-1705), how- 
ever, was opposed to the union of the Armenian church with that of Rome, 

— 282 — 

and: so was the Patriarch of the Aghouans, Simeon IV (1675-1701). The 
nobles chose therefore the Superior of the Monastery of St. James, Minas 
Tigranian, who left together with Ori, bearing a letter addressed to Pope 
Innocent XII (1691-1700). 

After visiting the Holy Father, Ori and Minas went to see Prince 
Johann-Wilhelm, who sent them to Emperor Leopold I (1658-1705). The 
latter realized, however, that he could do nothing for Armenia without 
the help of Russia, and advised the delegates to apply to Peter the Great. 
The Czar promised them his assistance and at the same time sent a mis- 
sion to Armenia. The Catholicos Nahapet I had died, and his successor 
Essai (1702-1728) was willing to accept the Pope. All that was neces- 
sary was for Russia to act, but time dragged on. Ori returned to Vienna, 
went to Dusseldorf, and then in 1706 we find him again in Russia where 
Peter the Great entrusted him with a mission to the Shah. The Persians, 
finally informed of what was going on in Armenia, treated him very po- 
litely but refused to listen to him, and he withdrew to Astrakhan where 
he died (1711). 

Peter the Great in 1722 despatched an ex- 

PETER THE pedition against Persia, and seized Derbend. The 

GREAT troops also besieged Chemakhi. The Armenians 

AND CATHERINE were convinced that their hopes were about to 

be realized, when the Czar called back his army, 

signed a peace with the Persians, and the following year gave up Georgia 

and Qara-bagh to the Turks, advising the Armenians to emigrate to the 

territory of his Empire. 

Abandoned by Russia, the Meliks resorted to force. The whole Qara- 
bagh district rose up under David-Beg who had for several years already 
been holding out in the mountains. The insurgents met with some suc- 
cess, but upon the Turkish army intervening, David came to terms with 
Shah Thamaz (1722-1732). Qara-bagh being recently restored to Persia, 
the Shah made him governor of that province, 

David died, and the Armenians quarreled as to his successor. The 
Turks seized the opportunity to reconquer Qara-bagh. Mekhithar, Da- 
vid's lieutenant, was assassinated by his fellow-countrymen (1730), put- 
ting an end to the Meliks' endeavors to restore independence to Armenia. 

This odyssey of Ori through Europe and Persia, these religious dis- 
putes, and struggles of a handful of men against armies of great powers, 
also Peter the Great's forsaking of the Armenians after his splendid prom- 

— 283 — 

jses, all remind us of the vain hopes of Greater Armenia in the Middle 
Ages, and of the New Armenia of the Rupen and Lusignan dynasties. 
The names are no longer those of the 13th century, but the steps taken 
and the resultant events are no different. 

Russia took no further interest for the time in the mountains of the 
Lesser Caucasus, and the Turks therefore seized the opportunity to declare 
war on the Shah of Persia for their possession. Erivan and Nak- 
hitchevan were taken by the Ottomans, whose army marched on to Ta- 
briz. The rivalry going on between Prince Ashraf and Thamaz II was 
helpful to the enemy, and Ashraf ratified the Sultan's occupation of his 
newly seized territory. The prince was, however, defeated by his rival, 
and captured and beheaded. Thereupon the war started afresh, but the 
Shah lost the battle to the Turks near Hamadan and was obliged to sign 
a peace treaty giving up the provinces of Tiflis, Erivan, and Chemakhi, 
and accepting the Araxes river as his boundry. 

This grievous treaty resulted in the overthrow of Thamaz who was 
dethroned by his general. Nadir, (1732) to make way for one of his 
children, Abbas III. Nadir was thus able to take over the government, 
and resume the fight with Turkey. A great battle took place on the 
banks of the Arpa-tchai, and the victorious general recovered the Trans- 
caucasian provinces surrendered by Thamaz. 

The Turcoman Nadir then usurped the throne outright and proclaimed 
himself Shah of Persia (1736-1747). He made it his first business to 
grant the Armenians, who had helped him into power, the freedom they 
had formerly enjoyed under Abbas I. War with the Ottomans still went 
on in Armenia, however, and in 1743 Nadir Shah invaded Turkish ter- 
ritory as far as Kars. There he had to retreat, and a battle with the 
Sultan's army ensued below Erivan. He won the day, but it was Armenia 
again that was the unhappy battlefield. Ruins were heaped on ruins, 
the countryside became a wilderness, and the people weary of so much 


— 284 — 

suflFering and ceaseless danger gradually left their homeland to seek in 
other countries the liberty denied them on their ancestral soil. 

Notwithstanding their misfortunes, the yearning for freedom was 
not stamped out among them; demands for independence went up from 
the Armenian colonies abroad, and advances were made to Erekle II, 
King of Georgia (1737-1797) with a view to forming an all-inclusive 
State of Transcaucasia. To further this end, however the Meliks needed 
the support of Russia, then ruled by Catherine the Great. 

War broke out between Russia and Persia in 1768, and it suited the 
policy of the Empress to stir up a revolt of the Christians in the Shah's 
northern provinces. Catherine encouraged the idea of Armenian inde- 
pendence, and Grigoriy Alexandrovitch Potemkine, an ardent friend of 
that country, had even agreed to accept the crown of the new kingdom to 
be. Heartened by these favorable beginnings, the Armenians under the 
leadership of a few of their nobles and of the Catholici of Etchmiadzin 
and the Aghouans, were preparing for a general uprising when Ibrahim- 
Khan, the Persian governor of the Transcaucasian regions, had the con- 
spirators arrested. The Catholicos of Gandzassar, Hovhannes X, died of 
poison in prison (1786) while the other Armenian chiefs were kept in 

A dispute which broke out between the two Persian governors Ibra- 
him and Djavad-Khan, concerning the Armenians under the latter's pro- 
tection, brought about a war between these Tartar chiefs, causing further 
bloodshed in Eastern Armenia. Ever since the seizure of the Persian 
crown by the Turcoman Khadjars, unhappy Iran had been torn by rivalry 
and anarchy, and was rapidly verging on ruin. Throughout the provinces 

it was one series of revolts, and the eunuch 

CONQUEST Agha Mohammed-Khan availed himself of 

OF UPPER ARMENIA the upheaval to seize the throne for himself 

BY RUSSIA (1794-1797). Upon Ibrahim-Khan's refusal 

to acknowledge him as Shah, the new mon- 
arch invaded the Qara-bagh (1796), captured Choucha where he put the 
inhabitants to the sword, and punished with terrible severity the Ar- 
menians who had actively taken the side of the Tartars against him. The 
Russians intervened, however, and within a few weeks drove the Persians 
beyond the Araxes. Derbend, Baku, Couba, Gandzak, Chemakhi, and 
Choucha remained in their hands and have belonged to the Czar's em- 

— 285 — 



^ " ' \ ^HouUis 1797 

°^^ ^t^o i 1797.^ 


^M'^^f^h <^? 











pire ever since. (1797). The Qara-bagh district did not gain independence, 
it is true, but it was thereafter administered by Christian governors and 
forever rescued from Moslem persecution. 

By the treaty of Ghulistan, signed in 1813 between Persia and Russia, 
the Czar was given all Transcaucasia, and the Shah relinquished all claim 
to the Khanates of Qara-bagh, Gandzak, Shaki, Shirvan, Derbend, and 
Baku, likewise to Daghestan, Talysh, Georgia, Imeritia, Guria, MIngrelia, 
and Abkhasia to most of which regions Persia had no right anyhow. 
King Erekle of Georgia having bestowed on the Czar his sovereign rights. 

Nevertheless Abbas-Mirza, the 
eldest son of Shah Fath-Ali, secretly 
arranged for an uprising of all the 
Moslems of Transcaucasia, and in 
1826, when he thought the time was 
ripe, he invaded with a large army the 
provinces that had been surrendered 
by the treaty of Ghulistan. The Rus- 
sians thereupon despatched a number 
of armed forces to Caucasia, and cal- 


286 — 

ling" on the Christians received the help of the Georgians and Armenians 
under'General Madatoff, an Armenian of Qara-bagh, 

Abbas-Mirba's army was easily driven off and the city of Tabriz in 
Azerbaidjan surrendered unconditionally to the "mules of the Russian 
army.^' By the treaty of Turkmen-tchai 1828, Persia gave up the Khan- 
ates of Erivan and Nakhitchevan, their sole remaining possessions on 
the left bank of the Araxes. This resulted in delivering from Moslem rule 
the ''Rome of the Armenians," Etchmiadzin, the residence of the Catholicos 
Nerses of Ashharac who as the leader of his Armenians had given the 
Russians his support. There was some question then of forming an 
autonomous "Russian Armenian province" under the Czar's suzerainty, 
but this plan was abandoned by Paskievitch, the viceroy of the Caucasus. 

The war with the Persians was hardly over when Russia was obliged 
to take the field against the Turks. Fighting took place mostly in Min- 
grelia and the north-west provinces of Armenia. 

Ever since the Turks occupied the southern and western parts of 
Armenia, the Ottoman yoke had weighed so heavily on the Christians of 
those regions and any inclination to revolt had been so pitilessly repressed, 
that the Armenians bowed their necks and suffered outrageous persecution 
in utter helplessness. With their lives and property under constant threat 
from their terrible neighbors, the Kurdish tribesmen hardly acknow- 
ledging the Sultan's rule, — crushed by the heavy taxation of the Ottoman 
officials, and watched with relentless cruelty — these unfortunate people 
had no means of concerted action towards relieving their woes. The Rus- 
sian' armies' entry into battle aroused in those mountains Indescribable 
enthusiasm, of which the Czar's generals skillfully availed themselves 
and rallied the Christians against their enemies. Paskievitch command- 
ing the army of the East seized Kars, Akhalkalakll, Akhaltslkhe, Bayazld, 
Diadine, Alashkert, Hassan-Qal'a, Erzerum, Khinis, and Baiburt. Al- 
most all of Armenia was conquered, and all that remained to the Turks 
were Van, Bitlis, Mouch, and Erzindjan, that Is, the south and west of 
the Erzerum plateau. In Europe also the Russian ar- 
TREATY OF mles were equally victorious and were threatening Con- 
ADRIANOPLE stantlnople. The Western Powers, however, opposed 
the subordination of the Ottoman Empire, and by the 
treaty of Adrlanople (1829) Russia was allowed to keep only the prov- 
inces of Anapa, Potkl, Akhalkalaki and Akhaltslkhe, and had to restore 
to Turkey the greater part of her Eastern conquests. 

— 287 — 

The Armenians were cruelly disappointed. They had generously 
compromised themselves on Russia's behalf, and now were thrown back 
again into their former servitude to masters who would certainly not 
forgive their devotion to the Russians. They emigrated in a body to 
Alexandropol, Akhalkalaki, and Akhaltsikhe. Ninety thousand people 
forsook the villages restored to the Turks; forty thousand had left the 
Persian provinces a few years before. Pitiful indeed was the lamentable 
exodus of destitute families, more than one half of whom died on the 
way of fatigue, exhaustion, and hunger. The Russian government, more- 
over, did not manifest much charity for these poor people. With the 
civilization they inherited from the Byzantines, the Russians absorbed the 
religious aversions of their teachers, and as Orthodox Christians they 
despised very much the Gregorian Armenians. The Greeks' dislike for 
all who did not believe as they did was passed on with its violent fanati- 
cism to the eastern Slavs. 

War did not start again with Turkey in Armenia until 1877, for 
at the time of the Crimean struggle all the fighting took place in Europe, 
and Transcaucasia remained entirely outside of that conflict. The treaty 
of San Stefano signed in 1878 at the gates of Constantinople gave to 
Russia Batum, Adjara, Artvin, Olti, Ardahan, Kars, Ani, and Kaghzian, 
but the Czar's troops once again handed back to the Sultan the cities of 
Erzerum and Bayazid to the despair of the Armenian generals. Prince 
Madatoff, Ter-GhoukassoflF, and H, Alkhazoff, who had been hoping to 
save their fellow-countrymen at last from the Turkish yoke. 

Realizing that they were condemned to remain Ottoman subjects, 
the Armenians of Turkey had for years petitioned the Sublime Porte 
for reforms in their behalf. The Sultan did not refuse point- 
blank, but he nevertheless saw to it that there should be no improvement 
in the lot of the Christians within his dominions. In 1841 a Council 
had been created, composed of twenty-seven members chosen from modest 
Armenian middle classes. This Council had to function outside of the 
Patriarch's jurisdiction, which had been over the affairs of the commu- 
nity ever since the nation lost its independence. Such a step only re- 
sulted in confusion for the Armenians. In 1875 they sought to induce 
the Sultan to give his approval to a national Armenian Constitution "in 
contradiction of the very principles of the Turkish Government," but "a 
State cannot exist within another State," especially in Turkey. In 1860 
a new attempt was made, but disagreement occurred among the Armen- 
ians involved, and the Ottoman Government took advantage of the 

— 288 — 

dissensions to intervene and dissolve the commissions. This resulted in 
1862 in disturbances, and finally in 1863 to satisfy the Armenian people 
the Sultan ratified a constitution which to the present time has vested the 
management of afi'airs with the Patriarchate, and the statutes of which 
are incorporated in the Compendium of Laws (Destour) of the Otto- 
man Empire. It was a first step in the right direction, but the Porte 
continued none the less to treat the Armenians as slaves; to have granted 
them bona fide freedom would have incited all the other Christians to 
set forth their claims, and would have deprived the Moslems of their 
supremacy, the very basis of the Sultan's Empire. 

"Mahometan rulers from the very beginning have always avoided 
"any footing of equality with Christianity. Their appeal is to the sword, 
"not to reason. Fearful of equality, they have always disarmed the 
"Christians, and denied them equal rights, any right whatever, one might 
"say, before the law. Every time that the Christians, even helpless as 
"they were, showed any disproportionate excess of population above 
"that of the Moslems, or any undue superiority in education or well-being, 
"the Moslem rulers repeated the policy of the Pharaohs with the enslaved 
"Israelites and cut down their numbers by the methods they employed 
"in Bulgaria in 1876 and at Sassoun in Armenia in 1894, followed by 
"crushing and crippling taxation levied on the survivors. (1)" 

"After the massacres of the Greeks in Constantinople in 1821 and 
"on the island of Chios in 1822, Europe demanded from Mahmoud II 
"[1808-1839] a formal promise of reforms in Turkey. To avoid European 
"intervention, Abdul-Medjid [1839-1861], Mahmoud's son, proclaimed 
"on his accession, by a decree known in history as Hatti-Sherif of Gulhane, 
"the required reformatory measures (Tanzimat). But their 'solemn 
"proclamation remained a dead letter! In 1843 a Christian of Constan- 
"tinople, named Hovakim, who had four years previously become a Mos- 
"lem, sought to return to the religion of his birth. The unfortunate man 
"was hanged notwithstanding the intervention and protests of Lord Can- 
"ning, the British Ambassador. 

"In 1845 the first massacres began in Lebanon. Europe managed 
"to extract from the Sultan a fresh promise of reforms, and the Hatti- 
"Humayoun was promulgated in 1856 confirming the previous ones of 
"1839. Events only showed the Porte's insincerity about applying any 
"reforms, for in 1858 there were new massacres at Jeddah and also in 

(1) COLL. MALCOLM, VArmenie devant TEurope, p. 44, Paris 1897. 

— 289 — 

"Syria and the Lebanon. In 1860 during the reign of Abdul- Aziz (1861- 
"1876) there occurred the events of Zeitoun. (2)" 

"The Armenians of Zeitoun (3) form a confederation 
ZEITOUN "very much in the same position to the Turks as the Mon- 
'tenegrins. Sheltered among inaccessible mountains, they 
"have always lived beyond the Sultan's authority. They have never been 
"conquered and ask only that the Ottoman Government respect their 
"independence, even if only on the grounds of their political ownership of 
"their lands. (4)" 

At that time the Turks had still utter contempt for their Armenian 
rayahs, and had no notion that one day the nation might become a 
nuisance to the Government. They considered moreover that a con- 
stitution without any teeth to it would never be anything more than a 
harmless toy, "a square wheel" as one of the Porte's statesmen called it 
at the time. But to the Armenian people, clinging to this figment of liberty 
it was a means of advancement, a basis for national recovery. One of 
the most active promoters of this movement was Kricor Odian, a coun- 
sellor of Midhat Pasha, who tried to induce his chief to give constitu- 
tional government to the whole Ottoman Empire. It was a vain dream 
on Odian's part to believe Turkey capable of any sincere movement for 
reform. Midhat followed his counsellor's advice, however, at least on 
paper, so as to prevent European intervention in the crisis of 1877. Mean- 
while the Armenian colonies throughout Turkey spread rapidly; schools 
were opened in every city, and the French and Americans were helping 
them forward in the various large centers of the empire, so that the Ar- 
menian question was assuming more importance every day. 

"In some mountain regions forming natural strongholds, such as 
"Eastern Armenia, Qara-bagh, or Sunik, and in western Armenia, the 
"Sassoun, Hadjin, and especially the Zeitoun districts, the Armenians had 
"continued to carry arms and constituted semi-autonomous clusters of 
"population. The long and glorious epic of Zeitoun is well known. This 
"little Armenian Montenegro, perched on the heights of the Cilician Tau- 
"rus, rose up in arms under its four barons more than thirty times in 
"its history, and always successfully resisted the Turkish troops sent to 

(2) K. J BASMADJIAN. op. laud., p 93 sq. 

(3)Cf. ANATOLIO LATINO, Gli Armeni e Zeitun (2 vol.) AGASSI, ZEITOUN 

(4) Victor LANGLOIS, Les Armeniens de la Turquie et les massacres du Taurus, 
p. 4, Paris, 1863. 

— 290 — 

"besiege it. In 1867 Sultan Abdul-Aziz decided to send an army of 
"150,000 men to destroy Zeitoun with its mere 20,000 inhabitants. (1)'' 
Abdul-Aziz was then a guest at the Tuileries, and Napoleon III per- 
suaded the Sultan to countermand the expedition. Fear of the Armenians, 
added to their hatred for the Christians, was gaining ground continually 
in the minds of the Turks, and even the friendly intervention of a ruler 
who had saved the Ottoman Empire in 1854-55, was a deep humiliation 
for the Court on the Bosphorus. The interference with Turkey's internal 
affairs, and the interest of Napoleon III in the fate of contemptible rayahs, 
caused the Sublime Porte to apprehend the day when the western world 
might say to Mahomet II's successor: "In humanity's name, you are no 
"longer master in your own house." Was not the French Syrian expe- 
dition of 1864 a warning? 

Europe was stirred by the Christians' forthcoming lot under the 
Turks, and far from succeeding in appeasing Constantinople's anger by 
its remonstrances, it only added to it. The Turks were not only afraid of 
their serfs escaping out of their hands, but they feared also the inter- 
vention of the Powers. Throughout the Empire harsher treatment than 
ever was inflicted on the unbelievers. Two provinces, Bosnia and Herze- 
govina, revolted in 1875 and 1876, and in December of the latter year 
Lord Salisbury presented the Imperial Government with a Memorandum 
relating to Armenia which subsequently became the basis of The Armenian 
Question. The Russo-Turklsh war was about to break out, and as a 
precaution against events that threatened to turn out ill for the Ottomans 
and in order to draw to his side the Christians on his Asiatic frontiers 
with Russia, the Sultan encouraged the Armenians to ask for a measure 
of home-rule in the provinces they lived in, retaining his suzerainty of 
those vilayets, (November 1877). The Porte seemed agreeable to this 
concession but the arrival of the British fleet removed the fears of the 
Turkish court and the Sultan reconsidered the proposition which after 
all had been only dictated by fear. 

TREATY At the time of the treaty of San Stefano 

OF SAN STEFANO (July 10th, 1878), the Russian plenipotentiaries 

presented a Note concerning Armenia which had 
been drawn up at the request of the Armenians themselves. The Turkish 

(DA. TCHOBANIAN, op. laud., p. 23. 

— 291 — 

representatives rejected this request and in the final draft of Art. 16 (1) of 
the Treaty, the formula "administrative autonomy" was replaced by the 
words "reforms and improvements". Armenia was to be occupied by 
Russian troops to guarantee the latter, but at the Berlin Congress the 
Sultan succeeded in having this guarantee clause omitted. (2) The Ar- 
menians then, at the Ottoman Government's instigation, asked the Con- 
gress for Administrative Autonomy, whereupon the German diplomats 
in connivance with the Sultan arranged for the non-consideration of the 
request. Not only was all hope lost for the Armenians, but their desires 
they had expressed so frankly and openly, at the suggestion of the Porte 
itself, created deep resentment among the Turks. 

In the treaty of San Stefano, Russia was of course 
CONGRESS serving her own interests, but those interests did conform 
OF BERLIN to justice and humanity and to the aspirations of the 
Christian peoples under Turkish rule. The Czar's dele- 
gates signed a notably fine historical document, a step towards the dis- 
memberment of the Moslem empire which had shamed the face of Europe 
for so many hundred years. It settled the Eastern question to the Czar*s 
advantage. But Great Britain, following a Turcophile policy, and the 
Dual Monarchy (Austria-Hungary) which since its defeat at Sadowa 
had adopted a new Eastern policy, were both displeased at the idea of 
the Czar's supremacy in the Balkans, and imposed on Russia the Congress 
of Berlin, where Prince Bismarck, the dominant figure, who had little 
use for the Eastern question, made his own general political views para- 
mount. As a consequence of the Treaty of Berlin, Russia lost the fruits 
of her victory, and paved the way for the Franco-Russian alliance, while 
throwing Austria into the arms of Germany and removing the barrier 
just put up by the Czar in the Balkans. 

(1) Art. 16 of the Treaty of San Stefano proposed by Russia: 

Inasmuch as the evacuation by the Russian troops of the territories they occupy 
in Armenia that are to be restored to Turkey might give rise to conflicts and com- 
plications harmful to the good relations of the two countries, the Sublime Porte 
undertakes to carry out with further delay, the administrative autonomy required 
by local needs in the provinces inhabited by Armenians and to guarantee their 
safety from the Kurds and Circassians. 

(2) Passage from the decisions of the Berlin Congress substituted for the text 
proposed by Russia: 

The Sublime Porte undertakes to carry out without further delay the improve- 
ments and reforms required by local needs in the provinces inhabited by the 
Armenians, and to guarantee their safety from the Kurds and Circassians. The 
Sublime Porte will periodically acquaint the supervising Powers with the steps 
taken to this end. 

— 292 — 

All the powers undertook to control the reforms that were to be 
made in the Turkish Empire in connection with the Christian inhabitants, 
and in this manner the Armenian question ceased to be an internal matter, 
and became international. This internationalism could only make the 
control illusive, and that is just what happened. 

On June 4th, 1878, a secret pact, called the Cyprus 
CYPRUS Agreement (1) because thereby Great Britain was 

AGREEMENT given this island by the Sultan, enabled England to 
make use of her right of supervising the reforms to 
check Russian influence in Western Asia. At that time the two powers, 
the Lion and the Two-headed Eagle, were watching each other jealously 
on all the frontiers of Turkey, Persia, and Afghanistan, from the Black 
Sea shores to the Pamir Mountains. 

This plan included not only the Armenians but also all other Chris- 
tians in the Empire. Germany and Austria, concealing their false play 
beneath a mask of generosity, brought about its failure by proposing in 
its stead to divide the six Armenian vilayets and that of Trebizond into 
two sectors each headed by a European inspector appointed by the Otto- 
man government from a list of five candidates submitted by the Powers. 
Six months before the beginning of the Great War, on February 8th, 1914, 
the Sublime Porte finally signed an undertaking along these lines, at the 
very same time that Germany, Austria, Bulgaria, and the Turks were 
preparing to mobilize, and that Kaiser Wllhelm urgently needed Turkey's 
help. A diplomatic farce Indeed, unfortunately one to be followed by 
dramas still more frightful than those preceding it. 

(1) The single article of this agreement is as follows: 

In the event of Batum, Ardahan, and Kars, or any one of those places being 
retained by Russia and if any attempt should be made at any time by Russia to 
seize any other portion of the territories of H.I.M. the Sultan in Asia as determined 
by the final peace treaty, Gt. Britain undertakes to join His Imperial Majesty in 
defending such territories by force of arms; 

In consideration of which, H.I.M the Sultan promises Great Britain to intro- 
duce the necessary reforms (to be determined later by the two powers) relating 
to the proper administration and the protection of the Christian and other subjects 
of the Sublime Porte inhabiting the territories in question; and in order to enable 
Britain to fulfill this undertaking H.I.M. the Sultan further consents to the occupation 
and administration of the island of Cyprus by Great Britain. 

— 293 — 

M. Emile Doumergue, in Foi et Vie (1), gives a very clear idea of 
what Turkey's notions of reform were at the beginning of the 19th century. 
He writes: "Under Sultan Mahmoud II (1809-1839) Turkey seemed 
"about to enter on an era of reform. Abdul-Hamid I (1774-1789) — not 
"to be confused with Abdul-Hamid II, The Great Assassin — had re- 
"ceived from Algiers a very beautiful and intelligent slave whom he 
"raised to the rank of favorite. She was reported to be a Frenchwoman, 
"Aimee Dubac de Rivery, who had been captured by the pirates. Her 
son, Mahmoud II, was the first reformer. On June 17th, 1826, he de- 
"stroyed the Janizaries, and on November 3rd, 1839, his son Abdul-Med- 
"jid (1839-1861) promulgated the ScherifF-Hati of Gulhane, promising 
"all his subjects, of whatever religion, their lives and honor, security of 
"property, just taxes, and reformatory laws. But the French blood in 
"their veins was not sufficient to carry these Sultans beyond mere prom- 
"ises." Their undertakings remained a dead letter, and equally so, later, 
was the Hatti-Medjid Humayoun of February 18th, 1856, in which Sultan 
Medjid again promised his subject peoples every blessing. We merely 
quote for the record these sallies of benevolent hypocrisy. 

The stipulations of the Cyprus Agreement and the Treaty of Berlin 
Itself regarding the protection of Christians In Turkey were not fulfilled 
in the least, and the position of the rayahs, the Armenians especially, de- 
teriorated further to such an extent that the situation in the Armenian 
provinces became most alarming. In 1880 the six Powers delivered a 
collective Note to the Sublime Porte demanding the fulfillment of the 
promised reforms. The Note recapitulated the latter, but the Porte did 
not even answer It, and owing to European indifference the persecution 
of the Armenians continued. Everywhere in Armenia they were deprived 
of their land and In their despair they attempted several uprisings. Then 
there occurred the events at Sassoun (1894) which the Sublime Porte 
repressed by massacres. These atrocities aroused indignation in Europe, 
and Great Britain, France, and Russia called on Turkey to carry out the 
reforms in the Armenian provinces which she had undertaken under Art. 
61 of the Treaty of Berlin. The three Powers even drew up In 1895 
a Memorandum and Draft of these reforms. The Porte accepted the 
latter with a few alterations, but instead of carrying them out ordered 

(1) lesne of April 1-16, 1916. 

— 294 — 

the general massacres that drenched all Armenia in blood (1895-1896) and 
which for horror surpassed anything history had yet recorded.(l) 

At the time of the Balkan war of 1912, the Catholicos George V 
appointed a delegation headed by Boghos Pasha Nubar, the son of Nu- 
bar Pasha, Egypt's eminent minister, to present the Armenian claims to 
the London Conference. The Armenians asked to remain Turkish, but 
called for the performance of the administrative reforms so often promised. 
So many other international matters, however, crowded the agenda that 
the Armenians could not get a hearing at that Conference. The efforts 
of the Catholicos, of the Patriarch of Constantinople, and of the national 
delegation under Boghos Pasha Nubar had, nevertheless, at least one 
theoretical result: Russia took the initiative of suggesting to the Powers 
a plan of reform by which the six Armenian vilayets should be united into 
one Ottoman province administered by a Christian, and if possible, Euro- 
pean governor, under the supervision of the protecting Powers. 

Such, in its main lines, is the diplomatic history of these famous re- 
forms which were supposed to protect the lives of the unfortunate Chris- 
tians of the Turkish Empire. The Powers could never agree, especially 
in the more recent period, because they were divided in purpose, and both 
^bdul-Hamid II and the Young Turks after him knew how to turn Euro- 
pean divisions to their advantage. The Central Powers stood by, more- 
over, practically telling Turkey: "Do nothing for people who are not our 
"clients," the word 'client' taking on its ancient Roman meaning. 

In their hearts the Turks believed neither what they said nor what 
they wrote; they were determined to make no concessions, except on paper 
which they treated as bits of rag long before Herr von Bethmann-HoUweg 
adopted that cynical expression. As good Moslems they were apprehen- 
sive when they saw any sense of right coming to the fore among their 
rayahs, or the European Powers showing interest in the despicable Chris- 
tians whose lives they had been weak enough to spare. Ah! had Mahom- 
et II followed the example of Philip II of Spain and organized a Mos- 
lem inquisition for three centuries in his dominions, then there would 
have been no unbelievers in the realm of the Grand Seignior, and the 
Turk would really have his house to himself, and the European Powers 
would have no reason to interfere with his private business. 

But could not the oversight, the great mistake of the Conqueror of 
Constantinople, be repaired? Methodical massacres of the nuisances were 

(1) Marcel LEART, La Question armenienne a la lumiere des documents. 

— 295 — 

all that was necessary, and one had only to say the word, as every good 
Turkish Moslem was always ready to exterminate the unbelievers. 

Such were Sutan Abdul-Hamid II's conclusions when he saw the 
Armenians and the Syrians asking for reforms and the ambassadors of 
the Great Powers audaciously meddling with the lot of his slaves. Had 
he handled the Christian problem in cavalier fashion, however, Abdul- 
Hamid might have provoked England, France, Italy, and Russia beyond 
mere diplomatic protests; he needed effective support and he found it 
In the German Emperor, his self-seeking friend who for the last few years 
was turning Turkey into a German colony. A European war might re- 
sult, but what of that! The military strength of the Triple Alliance was 
surely invincible! Besides, the treaty of San Stefano clearly set forth 
Russia's ideas, and if Turkey did not act with energy, it would see the 
six vilayets of Armenians proclaiming their independence and Lebanon 
following suit, with the Arabs perhaps refusing to pay taxes any longer. 
Greece, Serbia, and Bulgaria had already escaped, and their example was 
pernicious, for freedom of one people encourages it in the neighbor, and 
the Empire of Mahomet H was in danger of dismemberment. 

It could never occur to the Turk that the 

THE CAUSES Empire of true believers might be transformed 

OF THE MASSACRES into a Federal State. The suggestion of any 

such political organization would be humiliat- 
ing and against the commandments of the Prophet, unworthy indeed of 
servants of Allah, whereas extermination was recommended by the chap- 
ters Sword and War in the Koran, and took on the aspect of a holy task. 
Encouraged by Wllhelm IPs attitude and by the great Kaiser's official 
expressions of goodwill towards all Mohammedans, Abdul-Hamid decided 
on massacres. 

According to a high Turkish official, "the Government's premedlt- 
"ated plan was to punish the Armenians. The Sultan was infuriated 
"because of having been forced to grant them better treatment, and so, 
"after signing the reform plan, he gave orders to destroy the x\rmenians 
"in order to show his power." At the very same time Abdul-Hamid wrote 
(September 30th, 1895) to Lord Salisbury: "When I enforce these 
"reforms, I will take the document containing them and see to it per- 
"sonally that each article is carried out. This is my firm decision, to 
"which I pledge my word of honor." This future tense in its vagueness 

— 296 — 

epitomizes the whole Turkish diplomacy, which M. Rolin-Jacquemynes, 
the eminent Belgian jurist, definies as follows: "The fine art of hiding 
"the actual barbarity of the facts and of the intended crime by specious 
"externals; a bland audacity in making promises that the promiser has 
"no wish whatever or even the ability to keep; in short a pseudo-fatherly 
"and unctuous tone of voice calculated to create the belief that unjust 
"prejudice or wicked slander are behind the accusations." What could 
Christians possibly expect from such masters? What could they hope 
for from a divided Europe, a Europe paralyzed by the tremendous arma- 
ments of the Central Powers and under the constant threat of a war that 
would set the whole eastern hemisphere ablaze? 

In 1914 the majority of the Armenian nation were under the heel 
of the Turks and had to endure the extortions of the officials from Con- 
stantinople. Those were not the only dangers, however, that the Chris- 
tians were exposed to. Their neighbors were the Kurds and the Lazis, 
cruel and greedy robber tribes who constantly threatened to raid them. 
Deprived of all arms, they could offer no real resistance, but they 
managed to come to terms with the Kurds and paid the most unruly 
tribes regular sums. Until the Sublime Porte gave the signal for mas- 
sacres, the Kurds were satisfied to receive the money and the Armenians 
to save their lives in this manner. Of late, moreover, the Christians had 
received arms secretly from the Caucasian revolutionaries who urged 
them to resist, and the Kurds did not always return from their raids with- 
out sometimes heavy losses. 

What was the attitude of the Armenians during all their centuries 
of suffering? It was one of dignity and heroism. Of dignity, because 
the people in spite of their overwhelming misfortunes, clung steadfastly 
to their faith, their language, their customs, and their national traditions; 
of heroism, because Armenia did not stop at just shedding tears, but on 
many occasions, when their deepest feelings were hurt, her people took to 
arms and poured out their blood, in the revolt of their very spirit. 

During the centuries that followed Armenia's loss of Independence, 
her sons and daughters, though stripped of all political entity, preserved 
thqir patriotism, their traditions, and their national life under the guidance 
of outstanding fellow-countrymen and of their religious leaders, 
who managed their public aflfalrs and maintained and developed their 

— 297 — 

Most of the nobility emigrated to the western 
ARMENIAN world after the fall of Ani, and this emigration was 

NOBILITY repeated following the destruction of the kingdom of 

IN THE 20TH Cilicia, but there still remained in the country some 

CENTURY families descended from royal and princely houses. 

There are even to the present day some with the names 
of Artzruni, Alamikonian, Servantzdiantz, Camsaracan, etc. The heads 
of these families were conspicuous for their solicitude in safeguarding 
the people, helping them in their endeavors to rise both intellectually 
and economically, and in keeping alive both their patriotism and their 
fidelity to religious and national tradition. There were also leading 
families of more recent origin, who have honorably played the same 
part in modern times, families founded by brave men who in the 17th and 
18th centuries took up again the struggle against the Moslem oppressors 
and formed the honor roll of valiant leaders in the Qara-bagh region, 
men who bequeathed to their descendants, along with their title of melik 
still used by these families, traditions of patriotism and devotion to their 
people's welfare. Some of these meliks, moreover, were descended them- 
selves from princely families of renown. There were also families of 
note, dating back to the centuries of servitude, founded by men of initia- 
tive and talent, including diplomats, architects, merchants, and soldiers, 
who acquired positions of authority in Turkey, Persia, or in Russia by 
their own merits and industry, and who used their influence and wealth 
in their country's behalf. Their posterity have inherited names to be 
proud of, and their present representatives glory in maintaining the 
luster of such names by works of beneficence and generous patriotism. 

These chiefs, or notables, called "meliks" in Caucasia, and "amiras" 
or "tchelebis" in Turkey — even though gaining high and merited recog- 
nition in service abroad, whether Mogul, Persian, Turkish, or Russian, 
and no matter what their foreign status — never forgot their duty to their 
people, and devoted their position and fortune to alleviating the wretched- 
ness of the Armenians, and mitigating their threatened persecutions, 
besides establishing for them various religious, educational, and chari- 
table institutions. 

Among the ancient aristocratic families still existing may be men- 
tioned that of the Arghoutian-Erkainabazouks (Argoutinsky-DolgoroukoflF) 
who are descended from the "braves" of the time of the Armeno-Georgian 
rulers of Ani, under Queen Tamara; this family has had numerous eminent 
men, such as Bishop Arghoutian of the 18th century, one of the noblest 

— 298 — 

patriots of modern times. Also the Abro family, whose ancestors were 
Pagratids and who, emigrating to Erzerum on the fall of Ani, and settling 
in various parts of Turkey, have given their nation several public edu- 
cational leaders, have built churches and endowed many national insti- 
tutions. To this family belonged Abro-Tchelebi, the favorite of the famous 
Vizier Keuprulu, who was the leading Armenian of note and one of their 
chief benefactors about the middle of the 17th century. 

A family of more recent ancestry, but one that has played an eminent 
role and become a much-respected name is that of the Dadians, who were 
for a long time in charge of the Imperial Ottoman Powder-factory. They 
were illustrious patrons of arts and letters, the best known of them being 
Ohannes bey Dadian. Another family is that of the Balians, who became 
a dynasty of talented architects whom the Sultans entrusted with the 
building of their palaces and mosques during the 18th and 19th centuries. 
The most renowned of them was Nicohos bey Balian, who built the 
Palace of Tcheraghan and that of Dolmabahtche. Then again, the Duz 
family, the heads of the Imperial Ottoman Mint, who greatly promoted 
literature and art among the Armenians. Also in Russia, the Lazareflfs 
who founded the Armenian Institute that bears their name in Moscow, 
and which has subsequently become a School of Oriental languages, etc. 

We need to mention likewise the many successful self-made men 
who, even if they do not head family-trees, have left names that are 
revered today for their generosity and innumerable services to their 
fellow-countrymen: e.g. Artin amira Kazaz, the favorite of Sultan Mah- 
moud II, who built the Yedi-Coule Hospital, the Patriarchal edifice, and 
the Armenian School at Koumpakou; Raphael and Moorat, Armenians 
of India, who bequeathed to the Mekhitarist Congregation large sums 
of money to found an Armenian college in Venice; Sanassarlan, an Ar- 
menian of Russia, who founded a college bearing his name at Erzerum; 
I'/.mlrllan who created a prize for the publication of philological works; 
and others.(l) Some of these eminent men were themselves active in 
the intellectual life of their nation and became well-known writers or 
scholars, such as Yeremia Tchelebi Keumurdjian who in the I7th cen- 
tury brought out at Constantinople a large series of historical works, 
poems, essays, and translations; Kakaria Markar Khodjentz Amira, a 
native of Erivan, who published at Constantinople, at the end of the 

(1) Cf. Treatise on Distinguished Armenians, from 1400 to 1900, by H. K. 
MRMRJAN (in Armenian). Constantinople, 1910. 

— 299 — 

18th century, a number of translations and edited works of ancient authors, 
besides composing "The Romance of the Rose and the Nightingale;" and 
Yakoub Pasha Artin, Egyptian Minister and Member of the Institute of 

All these distinguished Armenians, in short, carried on the task of 
the former "Nakharars" or "Ichkhans"; they protected and guided the 
people during the centuries of servitude. "Ichkhans" moreover was 
the name the people actually gave to them, meaning "prince" or "director". 
Since the adoption of a constitutional regime by the Armenians in 1860, 
the title of "ichkhan" was dropped, however, because the chiefs or leaders 
of the people are no longer from any caste of rich or influential men nor 
persons of noble descent, but individuals of personal merit chosen by 
the people. 

The clergy has stood in the same position to the people as have these 
men of distinction, and even more so. The Catholici of Etchmiad- 
zin, the Patriarchs of Constantinople, Akhtamar, Sis, and Jerusalem, 
the "aratchnort" or Metropolitans, have been the real leaders of the Ar- 
menians. The Catholicos of Etchmiadzin who by the will of the people 
occupies the throne founded by St. Gregory the Illuminator, and who 
embodies not only their religious feelings but also their sentiment of 
patriotism, had precedence over the Patriarchs with their sees in Cilicia, 
Akhtamar, the land of the Aghouans, Jerusalem, and Constantinople. 
These six prelates, all of them distinguished men, have been at the head 
of Armenian affairs ever since the nation lost its Independence. 

The roll of Catholici of Etchmiadzin, 
THE PATRIARCHS inaugurated in A.D. 302 by Grigor I the 

Illuminator has been maintained without a break 
to the present day. Geuvorg V, the present Patriarch, was elected In 1912, 
the one hundred and fifty-ninth in succession. The Patriarchate of the 
Aghouans began In the same year A.D. 302 with a patriarch whose name 
Is not known but who was consecrated by GrIgor I, and that roll terminated 
with Sarkis II (1794-1 SIS) after a series, with a few interruptions, of 
ninety-five archbishops. 

The patriarchate of Akhtamar, founded In 1113 by David I, has 
only 48 names and has been vacant since 1895; whilst that of Jerusalem 
commencing In 637 with Abraham I went on until Harouthloun Vehapetlan 

Although the Armenians were very numerous in Constantinople In 
Byzantine times, they had no patriarchate in that city, nor anywhere 

— 300 — 

else in the Greek provinces; the Orthodox Greeks would not have tolerated 
it. This accounts for the fact that the Patriarchate of Jerusalem dates 
from the time of the Arab conquest of Syria, and that of Constantinople 
only from 1461. In that year Hovakim of Brusa (1461-1478) became the 
first patriarch, eight years after the fall of Byzantium to Mahomet II. 
The roll of his successors has been maintained until the present day, and 
the seventy-eighth prelate to occupy this important See is the present 
Zavene Eghiaian, elected in 1913. 

Cilicia's patriarchs also started quite late. Karapet I (1446-1477) 
was the first Cilician Catholicos, and today his forty-third Successor, 
Sahak II (1902), holds the office. Consequently there should be at 
present five Armenian patriarchates instead of six, that of the Aghouans 
having become extinct. But recent events have upset the organization of 
the Church. Sahak who became Catholicos of Jerusalem in 1916 resides 
at Damascus, and the patriarchate of Constantinople has been abolished 
by the Ottoman government. 

Although the Catholicos of Etchmiadzin has the traditional pre- 
eminence as the successor of Gregory the Illuminator, the most Important 
of the above prelates has been indisputably the Patriarch of Constan- 
tinople, representing as he has done the interests of the largest number 
of Armenians and being able, from his contacts with the Turkish gov- 
ernment and the ambassadors of the Powers, to uphold more energetically 
than any of the others the cause of his fellow-countrymen. The part 
played politically by Hovakim and his successors has weighed much in the 
fortunes of the Armenian people, whereas that of the Catholicos of Etch- 
miadzin, a willing exile in the Armenian mountains where he is isolated 
from all centers of important diplomatic deliberations, has been, ever 
since the fall of Ani, religious rather than political. Nevertheless, at the 
end of the 18th century and the beginning of the 19th, some of the patri- 
archs there, among them Nerses of Aschharac, rendered great services 
to their people by the help they gave to Russia then at war with the 
Moslems. Since the Balkan war the patriarch of Etchmiadzin has taken 
over the interests of Armenia, and it is he who appointed the Armenian 
national delegation representing him today in Europe. 

Furthermore, the Armenian people have not remained entirely homo- 
geneous in their religious beliefs, and although the great majority are 
Gregorians (1), there are among them a number of Catholic communities, 

(1) The Armenians say: "Armenian rite", the term "Gregorian" being used 
only by Europeans. 

— 301 — 

and also Protestant, due to American missionary work. Moreover, under 
the pressure of Mohammedan masters and unspeakable persecution, many 
Armenians have been converted to Islam, thereby forfeiting both their faith 
and their nationality. Some of these newly-made Moslems or their 
children have sometimes played an important part in Mohammedan 
countries. We need only mention the Grand V^izier of Shah Nassr-ednDin, 
Emin-es-Sultan, later Sadr-Azam, who was the most noted statesman of 
modern Persia. 

In any case, apart from the Armenian Moslems who no longer 
belong to the nation, those of Armenian speech who have been faithful 
to their respective creeds have maintained unadulterated their nation- 
ality and traditions. They all recognize the Catholicos as the shepherd 
of their flock, as the standard-bearer of the entire nation. The Patriarch's 
authority, however, and his influence abroad, were inadequate to regain 
for the Armenians their lost motherland; the most they could do was 
to obtain from time to time a few improvements in the lot of the unhappy 

As a matter of fact, the Armenians did not base any expectation of 
deliverance solely on divine intervention or on that coming from abroad; 
they knew that to obtain their freedom they must merit it by striving 
for it; hence their ceaseless uprisings both in Greater Armenia and in 
Cilicia. These were unfortunately only local movements, and ended 
always in the crushing of the insurgents and the laying waste of their 

After the Crimean War, Turkey owed so much to the Allies that 
she was unable to refuse to accede to their wishes; accordingly, on the 
representations of Britain and France, the position of the Christians was 
improved, especially in the cities where the Consuls could see what went 
on. Distant provinces, however, were hardly reached at all by these 
momentary benefits. 

At Constantinople and Smyrna, both of which were watched by 
Europe, there developed from then on, under the indifferent eyes of 
the Turks, a great Armenian intellectual movement. Springing up under 
the influence of Italian, English, and especially French writers, Armenian 
literature produced some remarkable works. Its pages were, however, 
vibrant with the most passionate love of freedom and exalted patriotism, 
and called on the Armenian people to remember their past and prepare 
for the struggle to free their homeland from the barbarian yoke. 

— 302 — 

"From the warm ashes of our ancient heroes 
May there arise heirs worthy of them, 
To give a nezv life to our people," 

sang the poet Bechlktachelian in his "Nocturne." 

The Turk opened his eyes and began to look less disdainfully on 
the Armenian upsurge. He awoke from the sluggishness produced by his 
conception of himself as an undisputed and indisputable master, to realize 
that the Armenians were playing a large part in his government and 
finances. He was indignant at hearing his rayahs speak of emancipation, 
and felt humiliated that he had need of their services. 

During the twenty-five years that followed the war of 1870, Turkey 
seemed to ponder the Armenian question and listened, but without giving 
any heed, to the remonstrances of the European powers. Abdul-Hamid 
who ascended the throne in 1876 had seen the beginning of his reign 
disturbed by the war with Russia, and the Young Turk party caused him 
keen anxiety. 

This Young Turk party was nothing new, for it 
THE YOUNG had come Into being In 1840 with the avowed purpose 
TURKS of reforming decrepit Turkey by adopting western 

methods of government. Such a program could not 
fail to find a sympathetic ear in France, the nursery of the Young Turks 
as also of all the Christian nations under the Sultan's rule. The 
Armenians espoused at once with fervor, and even supplemented with 
their counsel, the new ideas of these liberally minded Moslem patriots who 
sought to deliver their country from the hands of Abdul-Hamid; but 
little known were the changes that had taken place in these revolutionaries 
when in 1876 they replaced Abdul-Aziz, too submissive to the Russians, 
by Murad V, and then the incompetent Murad by Abdul-Hamid. 

The new Sultan who was quite aware of the Ideas of those who put 
him In power, and knew them to be Moslem nationalists, proved more 
Pan-Islamic than the Young Turks themselves. Nevertheless, throughout 
his reign, he fought them continually, at first by indirect methods and 
later openly, nor did he forgive the Armenians for making common cause 
with those who were one day to drive him from his throne. He reckoned 
that not only would violence tow^ards the Armenians put an end to all Eur- 
opean proneness to meddle with the affiairs of his Empire, but also that 
exterminating the Christians would bring his subjects back to the ancient 

— 303 — 

traditions of their race and make them drop the liberal notions that the 
Young Turk party was spreading around to hide its real purposes. This 
throned assassin was an astute politician, a great Statesman according 
to Oriental fashions, and having made his decision, he had the orders given 
out for the massacres. 

This was the end of the year 1895. Officers were 

THE sent out from Yildiz-Kiosk, and executions in the prov- 

MASSACRES inces marked the passage of the Imperial messengers. 
To describe the atrocities then committed would 
require the publication of a large volume. A passage from the work of 
Pastor Lepsius (1) is sufficient to give an idea of the unexpected woes that 
suddenly fell on the Armenians: 

"In the village of Hoh, in the Kharput district, the Christians were 
"gathered together inside a mosque. Eighty young men were chosen 
"from among them and led outside the village to be slaughtered. Hundreds 
"of Armenians were tortured because they refused to sign addresses to 
"the Sultan accusing their relatives and neighbors of high treason. One 
"of them refusing to swear to a statement which would have delivered 
"the honest people of his village to the executioner, was ordered by the 
"judges to be tortured. All night long this lasted; first he was bastinadoed 
"on the soles of his feet in a room adjoining which were the womenfolk 
"of his family. They tied him up, flogged Ihim, tore out his beard hair 
"by hair, burned his flesh with red-hot iron, and still he refused to swear 
"as was demanded of him. 

"I am a Christian, he said, I cannot stain my soul with innocent 
"blood ... In the name of divine mercy, finish me." 

It was important for Abdul-Hamid to have documents in hand to 
show that the Armenians were revolutionaries, so as to justify his acts 
to the representatives of France, Britain, and the United States, and to 
legitimize these heinous crimes by passing them off as acts of justice 
dictated by reasons of State. 

In 1890 the Sultan, already preparing to exterminate the 
Armenians, had the genial idea to arm the Kurds on the borders of Ar- 
menia and give them the name of Hamidian Cavalry. He let loose, as 
can be well imagined, these bandits against the Christians, and then en- 
couraged by the hesitant attitude of the ambassadors, in 1894 he ordered 

(1) L'Armenie et I'Europe, (French transl.) p. 58, Lausanne, 1896. 

— 304 — 

a trial massacre at Sassoun, an experiment which lasted three weeks. 
The regular army itself was ordered to do the killing. 

"In one place, three to four hundred women, and in another two 
"hundred, after being delivered up to the soldiers, were despatched by 
"the sword or the bayonet. 

"In another place, about sixty women and girls were shut up for 
"several days in a small church, delivered to the soldiers, and then finally 
"slaughtered; a river of blood flowed from the church door. Elsewhere, 
"on a mountain, some thousands of fugitives held out for ten days or so, 
"but in vain. A woman ran out on a high rock and cried: "Sisters, you 
"must choose: either fall into the hands of these Turks or else follow 
"me", and holding in her arms her one-year old child, she cast herself 
"down. Her companions followed her, and the Sultan decorated the offi- 
"cer in command of the murderers, and sent a silver banner to the Kurdish 
"chieftains. (1)" 

From 1894 to 1896 more than 200,000 Armenians were put to death, 
100,000 were made Moslems by force, and more than 100,000 women 
and girls were ravished and sent into harems. Armenia being devastated, 
there was no harvest, and the remainder of the inhabitants suffered a 
terrible famine. Fleeing to the mountains and hiding in inaccessible spots, 
the peasants watched their homes sacked and burned, thousands of their 
villages being reduced to ashes. 

From Europe there went up a tremendous cry of indignation as 
the groanings of the victims reached the ears of the western world, but 
no power dared to intervene with the energy that was called for; to have 
despatched an expeditionary force to the Turkish coasts would have 
brought about a European war, and so they all held off. 

There was a paroxysm of indignation among Armenians abroad, 
who sent up their protests in Paris, London, Rome, Geneva, and Washing- 
ton. Some Armenians inside Turkey joined up with some young men from 
the United States, and in their desperation decided to give vent to their 
anger and help their fellow-countrymen by a feat of arms likely to en- 
tail Europe's intervention. In the summer of 1896 they seized the Otto- 
man Bank at Galata and held out against the Turkish police and soldiers. 

Alas! this attempt to reach Europe's ears by overt act failed, and in 
his anger the Sultan ordered the massacres to go on with even greater 

(1) Foi et Vie, April 1-16, 1916, p. Ill, according to Pastor Lepsias. 

— 305 — 

cruelty. In the very city of Constantinople under the eyes of the am- 
bassadors, ten thousand Armenians were vilely slaughtered. 

In 1909, however, the horizon seemed to brighten for the unhappy 
people. The Ottoman army was won over to the cause of the Young 
Turks and besieged the Sultan in his palace, although nine months pre- 
viously he had accepted the Constitution. Abdul-Hamid was forcibly 
removed from Yildiz-KIosk and imprisoned at Salonica. All Europe re- 
joiced, even though the punishment was far too mild for the murderous 
Sultan, and the Armenians looked forward to an end to all their woes, 
for had they not collaborated with the Young Turks and given ample 
proof of their loyalty to the Turkish liberal party? The Armenian section 
of the population, that had so largely contributed to the success of this 
revolution, had every right to reap the reward of its sacrifices. 

What was thought to be the dawn of liberty caused a frenzy of joy 
throughout Turkey; Moslems, Christians, and Jews gave way to the most 
sincere expressions of mutual friendship. Priests and Ulemas embraced 
one another in the streets to the enthusiastic cries of the crowd. Europe 
gave its support to the liberal movement, and sent able men to guide the 
steps of the newly formed Committee of "Union and Progress" that was 
now in the saddle. Funds from Europe also poured in to help the Com- 
mittee carry out its plans for a modernized Turkey. 

Alas, once more! The Young Turks answered the loyal declarations 
of the Armenians, even before Abdul-Hamid was oflF his throne, by the 
Adana massacres which opened a series of the most frightful crimes ever 
recorded by history. 

The Armenians had been only tools in the hands of power-seeking 
bandits, who as soon as they had seized the reins and felt themselves 
strong, had no further reason to conceal their hatred of aliens, and their 
PanTslamism. Possessing none of the slyness and diplomacy of the 
Sultan they had just overthrown, these imperious revolutionaries were 
determined to continue the bloody work of Abdul-Hamid and exterminate 
all the non-Moslems of the Empire, and If they had any reform in mind, 
it was that of abolishing all European Interference in their affairs and 
calling an end to the Capitulations. "We are Moslems", said one high 
Young Turk official, "and we can have nothing in common with unbe- 
lievers. The Empire of Islam is our heritage, it will be vast enough to 
enable us to break off all contact with Christians." And he added: "We 
shall live In peace with every one on our side." 

— 306 — 

It was not, however, Pan-lslamism properly speaking that was at 
the back of the heads of the Young Turks, but Pan-Turkism, a sort of 
Moslem nationalism even more exclusive than Abdul-Hamid's doctrine, 
for it considered the Turkish race alone capable of any progress, and 
superior therefore to Arabs, Persians, Egyptians, and Indians. These latter 
people it deemed incapable of advancement, they were mere subjects 
of infidels. The supreme power for the 300 millions of Mahometans in 
the world it vested in the Committee of "Union and Progress", and pur- 
posed driving from their country or exterminating every unbeliever living 
in the immense Moslem territories. In short, a new edition of Mahomet's 
system for the benefit of a gang mad with lust for power, for self-indul- 
gence, and pelf, — Imperialism in its most degraded form. 

Naturally the Armenians when they were allied with the Young 
Turks during the days they kept up 'a common struggle' had a totally 
different idea of Turkey's regeneration, and their straightforward and 
loyal liberalism was quite the opposite of the Pan-Turks' plan once they 
had seized the government. These opposite views of the Armenians were 
Armenia's death-warrant, and to be consistent the Y'oung Turks included 
all the unbelievers of the Empire in their planned purge. 

The two masters of Turkey after 1913 were Talaat bey and Enver 
Pasha, two adventurers of obscure birth, for Talaat bey in 1908 was 
merely a copy-clerk in the Constantinople Post-Office, and Enver bey 
was a captain-adjutant at Salonica. The former outlined the acts of 
terrorism to be applied in the pursuance of their internal policy; the 
latter represented the party's armed strength. Talaat bey relied on the 
Turks, and Enver bey on the Germans. Talaat bey ordered the massacres, 
Enver bey carried them out. As for the new Sultan, Abdul-Hamid's 
successor, his name must not even be mentioned, for he does not reign. 
The Young Turks created an imaginary documentary file, and announced 
its existence without ever showing it, — relative to the crimes of which 
they accused the Armenians, who they said were guilty of sedition and 
treason. Then, on the strength of this suppositional indictment, they 
began to carry out the death sentence uttered by Talaat bey. 

With the exception of those at Constantinople, the massacres under 
Abdul-Hamid had been carried out unsystematically. The Sultan left 
details to be looked after by his delegates. Talaat bey went one better, 
however; under the guidance of Enver who had lived a long time in 
Berlin, and perhaps also of advisers even more versed in European ad- 
ministrative ways, he turned the massacres into a State service. 

— 307 — 

On account of the war that had just been declared on the Entente 
Powers, all the young Christians of the Empire were called to the colors, 
but they were not sent to the front. They were divided into sections 
of several hundreds each, and used for the building and upkeep of roads; 
then, when they had finished this work, a large number were executed. 

The towns and villages with only old people, women, and children 
left in them, and incapable of any defense, were occupied by the troops. 
Most of the men and male children were slain, and the remainder were 
ordered to gather into columns of 1,000 to 2,000 each, to go off into exile. 
These formalities were accompanied by summonses to adopt the Moslem 
religion, also by every kind of violence on the part of the soldiers. The 
property of the evicted inhabitants was distributed or sold to Moslems 
for next to nothing. 

The columns started out, accompanied by soldiers and by Kurdish 
horsemen who, on the way, indulged in every conceivable brutality, 
killing as fancy took them, and selling the women as slaves in the small 
towns and villages they passed through. 

Even these sales were conducted methodically. In each town the 
women and young girls were lined up in front of the Konak (government 
building) and offered to purchasers; on the following day the remainder 
of the column resumed the march. Many of the unfortunates exhausted 
by fatigue and hunger fell by the wayside; most of these rose no more, 
a spear or bayonet-thrust put an end to their sufferings. 

Many of these columns were entirely massacred, especially at a 
place called Kemagh-Boghaz on the Euphrates below Erzindjan. Others, 
their ranks greatly thinned, reached Mesopotamia, where most of them 
gradually died off in the bleak desert climate, homeless and starving. (1) 

A German woman-traveler relates that in one of these camps of 
suffering, composed of people from Zeitoun, one woman said to her: 
"Why don't they kill us outright? In the daytime we have no water, 
"our children are howling from thirst; in the night there come the Arabs, 
"stealing our bedding and clothes; they have carried off our young girls, 
"and raped our women. If we are unable to walk, the gendarmes beat 
"us. A number of women have drowned themselves in the river to 
"escape being outraged, some of them even with their infants." 

Talaat bey reckoned on these sufferings to finish off the remnants of 
the columns of deportees. 

To give a better realization, however, of all the horror of these mass 

(1) Foi et Vie, op. cit p. 150. 

— 308 

executions and pillaging, allow me to add to the above report a few 
authentic documents covering each phase of these frightful dramas. 
They may all be summed up in four acts, viz: the execution of the young 
men, the massacres, the caravan, the desert. 

A witness stated: "One day we met a number of workmen. 'They 
"are going to kill them all off' our traveling companion (a gendarme) 
"said to me. From the top of a hill our driver pointed out to me with 
"his whip about four hundred workmen whom they had lined up on the 
"edge of a sloping piece of ground. We know what happened. In another 
"place, while the gendarmes shot, Turkish workmen finished off the 
"victims with knives and stones. (2)" 

These were the Armenian conscripts which Talaat was having ex- 
terminated, while the towns and villages were being sacked. 

"The thousand or so Armenian houses in a populous town are 
"emptied of their furniture and all they contained, one after another, 
"by the police who are followed by a crowd of Turkish women and children 
"like a flock of vultures. This mob snatch everything they can lay their 
"hands on and take away, and when the police bring anything valuable 
"out of a house there is a terrific struggle for it. That sort of thing I 
"see every day with my own eyes. It will surely take several weeks 
"to empty all the houses and stores of the Armenians. (1)" 

But the Turks were not satisfied with taking property. Reverting 
to their old ancestral customs, they treated the unhappy Christians as 
slaves. "The children and young girls were carried away and sold; two 
"young girls at four francs apiece. At Constantinople, the market is 
"glutted, young girls are going at a few francs apiece." 

"One Turk with his friends sets up as a brothel-owner. The officers 
"took the women and then passed them on to their soldiers. In the 
"places where the caravan camped overnight, the soldiers and inhabitants 
"of the neighboring villages were let loose on them in the evening; women 
"were rented out to them for the night. (2)" 

In one town in Armenia, a Danish hospital-nurse was one night 
awakened by shooting, and realizing that numbers were being shot down 
before the departure of the caravan, she wrote: "I felt really relieved 
"to think that those victims were at last beyond human cruelty. Fortunate 
"are those who are killed! (3)" 

(2) Quelques Documents (Geneva), narrative of the Danish nurses. 

(1) A. J. TOYNBEE, The Murder of a Nation, London, 1915, p. 34. 

(2) Foi et Vie, op. cit., p. 116. 

(3) Ibid. 

— 309 — 

Fortunate victims, indeed! for the lot of the survivors, those whom 
death did not take, was frightful. The caravan decimated by hunger, 
exhaustion, and the cruelty of their guards, had to go on and on. Some- 
times the cries of women and children fill the air. Strength fails, hideous 
hunger adds its scourge. The unfortunates devour straw, grass, when- 
ever they can. "I looked at them," said one witness, "and wild animals 
"could not have been worse; they rushed on the guards carrying food, 
"and the guards struck them with clubs, hard enough sometimes to kill 
"them. It was difficult to realize that these were human beings." 

While the caravan plods along a road strewn with the corpses from 
the preceding convoy, sometimes through reeking air, the local mob, con- 
scious that here they can prey at will, follow along like a pack of wolves, 
biting and tearing. The mob kill and steal. 

When they pass near the river, mothers throw their children in 
the water and themselves after them. Or else the gendarmes throw in 
all the children under twelve or fifteen, and any who can swim, they shoot 
in the water. 

Even at the end of the seemingly interminable march, their martyr- 
dom is not over for the unhappy survivors, for the desert climate is ter- 
rible for these people accustomed to mountain air. Among them are to 
be seen some who from what remains of their clothing appear to have 
been men of position, educated women speaking European languages, 
chiefly English and French, people who have known the intellectual and 
material well-being of civilization! 

"Most of the time, the caravans do not go far; shooting, bayonet 
"thrusts, hunger, and fatigue thin out the ranks as they proceed. All 
"the most hideous passions of the human beast are vented on the wretched 
"herd, which melts and disappears. If a few debris do reach Mesopotamia, 
"they are left there without shelter or food, in desert or marshy lands; 
"the heat and dampness make short work of the poor creatures accustomed 
"to keen and wholesome mountain air. Any attempt at forming a colony 
"is out of the question without supplies, resources, tools, assistance, or 
"able men. The remnants of the Armenian caravans die away from 
"fever and misery. (1)" 

"Of the between 2,000 and 3,000 peasants of Upper Armenia brought 
'"to Aleppo," said a German professor in the school of that city, "there 
"remain forty or fifty skeletons. With distorted features, they succumb to 

(1) Rene PINON. La Suppression des Armeniens. p. 29-30, Paris, 1916. 

— 310 — 

"blows, to hunger, and thirst. Europeans are forbidden to give bread 
"to the starving creatures. Forty or fifty phantoms are heaped together 
"in one court; they are the demented ones, they no longer know how to 
"eat. When offered bread they refused it unconcernedly. They merely 
"groan as they await death. Every day over a hundred corpses are taken 
"out of Aleppo. Young girls, women, children, almost naked on the 
"ground, lie between the dying and coffins already prepared, and breathe 
"their last feeble sighs." 

In every province of Armenia the massacres were terrible, but 
those that took place at Mouch surpassed in barbarity the atrocities in 
any other town. A witness of this awful drama stated: "Day broke, it 
"was the 2nd of July, 1915, a day of sufTering and calamity a day of terror 
"for the unhappy Armenians. Early in the morning, Kurds and regular 
"soldiers overran the town shouting, and entered the x\rmenian quarters. 
"They began by killing those who were still there since the departure 
"of thirteen hundred people who had gone off" in caravan the day before 
"and been wiped out. Most of the inhabitants, no longer doubting the 
"fate that awaited them, had gathered in the houses in the center of 
"the town, where they seemed a little safer. There, families were grouped 
"together forty, fifty, even a hundred persons huddled together in nar- 
"row rooms, with doors and windows and all entrances barricaded. 

"Soon howls of approaching men drew nearer; the band of madmen 
"invaded the streets, shooting as they came, and armed with hatchets 
"they attacked the doors which flew in splinters. Then followed an in- 
"describable slaughter. Cries of terror and agony were mingled with 
"the noise of hatchet-blows and with the calls urging on the murderers. 
"The streets ran with blood, and bodies were piling up in front of the 
"houses, while the Turks continued to shout: 'Vour! Vour! (strike! 
"strike!) The Kurds yelled and howled for blood, as these wild beasts 
"went from house to house swinging their blood-covered hatchets. 

"The unhappy Armenians, crazed with fear, pressed against one 
"another, were crushed and suffocated. The cries and shrieks of the 
"women were heard, as children were trampled to death by those who 
"strove to save them. 

"A young woman handed one of the executioners her child she was 
"holding in her arms. 'Take him,' she begged, 'I give him to you, only 
"do not kill him." The soldier seized the child, threw it down and cut 
"off its head with one stroke; then turning to the unhappy mother, with 
"one more blow with his axe he cleaved her skull. 

— 311 — 

"A few more minutes, and sinister silence replaced the cries and 
"moans and dying groans. Only a heap of ripped-up corpses, of shape- 
"less and bleeding human debris, remained. 

"On several sides clouds of smoke are whirling skyward from bum- 
ping houses crowded with Armenians perishing in the flames. From one 
"house some one escapes and rushes towards the river, but he is caught 
"by the soldiers, who drench him with petroleum and watch him burn 
"with fiendish glee. Further on are bursts of laughter at the sight of 
"a six-year old child convulsed with agony from a bayonet-thrust, also 
"hapless women with bowels ripped open by the Kurds who have torn 
"out their unborn children. There again, soldiers fight for the possession 
"of a young girl, the burly winner carrying her off to rape and slaughter." 

At nightfall the survivors flee in a body to the river with the hope 
of getting across Into open country, but they are caught between two fires 
from the Turks, and those who rush into the water are mostly drowned. 
The town is on fire, and the guns still roar as they drop their shells on 
the Armenian quarter. 

No human language is strong or colorful enough to depict such 
horrors, or to express the moral and physical sufferings of these innocent 
martyred people up to the moment of their release in death. Any sur- 
vivors, hopeless wrecks from the frightful massacres wherein they have 
seen all their loved ones perish, are sent Into concentration camps where 
torture and degradation worse than death await them. 

When Mahomet II took Constantinople by storm, fifty thousand 
Greeks were put to the sword by the barbarians before their Sultan 
ordered the slaughter to cease. Europe was then seized with horror, 
but what must be our feelings today as we look back on the agony of 
the Armenian nation, an agony that lasted so many years, twenty-two long 
years in fact (1894-1916), and its toll of over a million victims! 

Nevertheless the Armenian nation is neither extinguished nor re- 
duced to a role of supplicant. Its national spirit burns more fiercely 
than ever, for the crime that has been committed, far from extirpating 
their courage, has armed it with wrath. They are still quite numerous, 
moreover, and include large settlements outside of Ottoman territory, 
while their people Inside Turkey are far from having been entirely wiped 

No Turkish statistics have ever been seriously or conscientiously 
drawn up. Why indeed should there be any census of the rayah popu- 
lation? Such figures would have been rather unprofitable to the Moslems 

— 312 — 

for they would have shown what a great proportion of Christians there 
are in the territory ruled by the Sultan. At any rate we can arrive at 
an approximate estimate within a few hundred thousand, and draw our 
conclusions therefrom. 

The Ottoman Empire, with an area of 
POPULATION OF 775,000 square miles, has a population of 
THE OTTOMAN 26 millions, of whom 9 millions speak Turkish, 
EMPIRE 10 million Arabic, and 2 million the various Kur- 

dish dialects. The total number of Moslems is 
therefore 21 millions. The other five millions are Christians (Armenians, 
Greeks, Syrians, and Chaldeans), Jews, Mandeans, and a few other non- 
Mohammedans adhering to numerically small religions. 

The Turks inhabit all the north of the Empire, chiefly Asia Minor, 
whilst the regions to the east of the upper and middle Euphrates are 
peopled by Armenians and Kurds. Intermixture of the different elements 
of population is unknown in Turkey, and each people is isolated terri- 
torially, the Turks having only troops and officials outside of their own 
geographical sphere. 

In some parts of Arabia and Mesopotamia the densiity of population 
even including the towns, is less than three inhabitants per sq. mile, 
whereas in the north of western Asia (Armenia, Lazistan, Anatolia, and 
central Asia Minor), in Coelesyria, the Arabian Red Sea coast and shores 
of the Gulf of Oman, the density is one to ten inhabitants. Syria, the 
southern coast of Asia Minor, and Lower Chaldea, on the other hand, are 
more thickly populated, containing an average of twenty-five to one 
hundred persons per square mile. 

In the Turkish regions of the empire the population is therefore 
as dense as in those occupied by the Armenians, but to this Christian 
population which is comparatively compact in Armenia must be added 
all the large detached groups of Armenians, both on Ottoman territory 
and abroad, likewise the considerable numbers living in Russia and Persia. 
If we take in also the more distant colonies, we shall arrive at the total 
figure of the Armenian people. 

According to the statistics of the Patriarchate 

THE ARMENIAN the number of Turkish Armenians in 1882 was 

POPULATION 2,660,000 of whom 1,630,000 occupied the six 

so-called Armenian vilayets, and 1,030,000 dwelt in 

— 313 — 

Cilicia and the various cities of Turkey. This was the figure submitted to 
the Congress of Berlin. But new statistics compiled in 1912, i.e. after 
the massacres and the emigrations of 1894-1896, likewise supplied by the 
Patriarchate, give only 1,018,000 for the six vilayets. They show also 
in the same specific region 660,000 Turks and 424,000 Kurds, both no- 
mads and non-nomads, the whole population being 2,615,000. The Ar- 
menians constituted therefore 38.9% of the population, the Turks 25.4% 
and the Kurds 26.5%. 

Judging from the above two estimates of the Patriarchate, we must 
conclude that the Armenian population in the period 1882-1912, by 
massacre, emigration, or conversion to Islam, decreased by about 612,000. 

It is impossible to know, even roughly, what losses the nation sus- 
tained during the massacres ordered after 1912 by the Young Turks, 
for no figures were ever kept. According to documents we have seen, 
however, the number of victims were considerably over half a million. Be- 
sides which, we know that about a quarter of a million went into Russia, 
and many became Moslems, with the remainder in the concentration camps 
of Mesopotamia. 

Of the 1,030,000 Armenians who in 1882 lived in parts of the Sultan's 
dominions other than Armenia proper, many certainly lost their lives, but 
many also emigrated. 

We may reckon at one million the number of Turkish Armenians 
who for various reasons managed to escape and who will return to their 
own nation the day it is delivered. Over and above these numbers, we 
must add the Armenian subjects of the Czar and the Shah, also the 
large and numerous colonies abroad. All in all, we reach a total of at 
least three millions of people speaking the Armenian tongue. 

The elite of the Armenian community unfortunately were unable 
to escape. Those surviving live today In Paris, London, Petrograd, Odessa, 
Tiflis, or Venice, working with unflagging energy for their final goal. 
They constitute a great asset for the cause of this persecuted people, for 
such an intelligentsia have means to make themselves heard and to vindi- 
cate the rights of their brethren to freedom. Four or five hundred thou- 
sand Greeks obtained from Europe their independence In 1829. and three 
millions of Armenians, by their energy, their sufferings, and the respect 
we owe their glorious past, deserve that Europe should give them honorable 
status in the world. 

— 314 


Armenians outside of Armenia. — The inhabitants of 
Armenia and the Armenian Colonies. 

With great empires for their neighbors, and constantly exposed 
to their influence as also frequently to the imposition of their will, the 
Armenians were from the beginning of their national history obliged to 
maintain large colonies of their compatriots in the very centers that were 
their chief sources of supply and at the same time, unfortunately, their 
chief sources of anxiety. From the time of Cyrus, after that monarch 
had established Persian rule over all Asia, the descendants of Haik un- 
doubtedly had their representatives at the court of the King of Kings, 
and among the nobles from the land of Ararat there were some who suc- 
cumbed to the lure of Achaemenian gold and served Persia to the detri- 
ment of their own country. It was an Armenian prince, named Dadarses, 
whom Darius entrusted with putting down the revolt of the northern 
provinces of his empire while he himself was busy besieging Babylon. 
This single fact, related by Darius himself, shows that there was an 
Armenian colony around the Shah-en-Shah that enjoyed considerable 
prestige and the confidence of the sovereign. 

The same was certainly the case after the Macedonian conquest 
of Asia, for towards the end of the fourth century B.C. Armenian names 
appear among the princes entrusted with the government of Armenia by 
the Seleucid rulers of Syria. 

Later on, when Rome extended her power over the remains of 
Alexander's empire and no longer had the long struggle with the Persian 
Arsacld monarchs to maintain, there gathered at the same time both at 
Ctesiphon and in the Eternal City populous and energetic colonies of 
Armenians who often handled matters concerning their homeland, in 
behalf either of the Romans or the Persians. 

Especially after the Empire was divided be- 
THE ARMENIAN tween the two sons of Theodosius, the Armenians 

EMPERORS acquired more and more prestige at the Roman 

court of the East. The nearness of the new capit- 

— 315 — 

al and the common Interests linking the Greeks and the peoples of the 
Eastern provinces drew numbers of Armenians to the shores of the Bos- 
phorus, and by degrees the latter attained to such Importance in the 
State that finally the Imperial purple fell on their shoulders. 

The part played by Armenian princes in the Byzantine empire is 
so great that we need to record their names, their sequence, and their 
kinship with one another, without going too deeply, however, into the 
details of their reigns which belong rather to Byzantine history than to 
that of Asia proper. 

Great numbers of foreigners were Included In the population of 
Constantinople; there were whole legions of them in the army, and some 
of them filled the highest posts In the Empire. Many of these foreigners 
ascended the throne, but no nation gave more emperors to Byzantium 
than did the Armenian people, and It would be overlooking one of the 
most glorious pages of the history of the descendants of Haik if we did 
not mention the names of these rulers who for more than three centuries 
occupied the Imperial throne of the Eastern Empire, I.e. during one 
third of its existence (395-1453). 

The Armenian period t)f Byzantium cer- 
tainly added some luster to the Empire of the 
Caesars, for It includes famous names and deeds 
of renown connected with the portentous col- 
lision that then took place between civilization 
and the barbarism of the Persians and Arabs. 
Coming from countries that were more exposed 
than any to onslaughts of the foes of Christianity, 
the royal Armenian families once on the Im- 
perial throne used their power for centuries to 
carry on the fight against the invaders, a fight 
which unfortunately in their old homeland was 
so often handicapped both by insufficient re- 
sources and geographical exposure. 

These emperors were unable, it is true, to 
escape the quarrels that disturbed their capital, 
and naturally they had to make allowances for 
the character of their Greek subjects and take 
the line of prudence in dealing with domestic 
matters, but they never forgot the role destiny 
had allotted them as the champions of civilization. 


316 — 

The first Armenian (1) to bear the title of "Basil- 
MAURICIUS eus" was Mauricius. He was born in 539 at Arabissa 
TIBERIUS in Cappadocia, of a noble Armenian family. Flavius 
582-602 Tiberius Mauricius first became a general and gained 

great renown in his wars against the Persians. He was 
received in triumph at Constantinople in 582, and on August 13th of that 
year he married Constantine, the daughter of Tiberius Constantine 
(578-582). He was crowned 
emperor that same year, but 
contrary to what might have 
been expected from the con- 
queror of the Sassanid armies, 
he was lacking as a ruler both 
in energy and authority. After 
reigning twenty years, he was 
dethroned by Focas who was 
proclaimed emperor by the 
army in revolt. Mauricius fled, 
and his ship being compelled 
by a storm to put in to land 

(with countermark of Heraclius I) 

(1) For proofs of the Armenian origin of emperors and empresses, and of 
princes and princesses of Constantinople who were of that nationality, consult: 
GARABED-DER-SAHAKIAN. The Armenian Emperors of Byzantium, 2 vol.. Saint- 
Lazare (Venice) 1905, (in Armenian) . (The author of this work of considerable 
repute lost his life in the Trebizond massacres of the spring of 1915). — LEBEAU, 
Historie du Bas-Empire; — F. W. BUSSELL, The Roman Empire. 1910; — G. 
SCHLUMBERGER, L'Epopee byzantine ;—K. J. BASMADJIAN, Histoire modeme 
du peuple armenien; — Corpus Historiae Byzantinae, vol. IX, p. 136 (Venice, 1729), 
— for Emperor Mauricius; Theophilactus Simocatta Historiae. — for Heraclius I; 
Nicephorus Constantinopolitanus, De rebus post Mauricium Gestis, p. 50 (ed. Bon) ; 
— for Filepicus Bardanes; Cedrenus, I, p. 43, — for Leo V; Niebuhr, Constantine 
Porphyrogenetus, Theoph. Continuat., p. 212; Luitprand. I, 3 — for Romanus; G. 
SCHLUMBERGER, Un Empereur Byzantin, — for John Zimisces; Cedrenus, vol. 
II, p. 23 and 26, for Marina, wife of Constantine VI. To this list should be added 
Artavazd (Cf. SABATIER, Monnaies byzantines, vol. II, p. 40) whose Armenian 
origin seems, however, doubtful. All the princes and princesses for whom I give no 
references are children of the emperors whose names are on the following pages. 

317 — 

twenty miles from Constantinople, he was captured and beheaded (Novem- 
ber 27, 602), after first seeing four of his sons, Peter, Paul, Justin, and 
Justinian executed in the same manner. A fifth son, Theodosius, who 
escaped the massacre was arrested in his flight to Persia and taken to 



Focas who ordered him to be strangled. Constantine, Maurlclus' wife, 
was shut up in a monastery with her daughter Anastasia, Theoctiste, 
Cleopatra, Sopatra, and Maria. Three years later Focas had them taken 
out and put to death. Arab and Persian writers state that Princess Maria 
escaped being slain and became the wife of the Persian king Chosroes II. 



At the instigation of Priscus, Focas' son-in-law, 
who stood in fear of his father-in-law's fits of anger, 
Heraclius, patrician and prefect of Africa, and for- 
merly governor of Armenia in 594, — probably a rela- 
tive of Mauricius, — sent his son Flavius Heraclius 
in command of a fleet to Constantinople to avenge 
the Emperor's murder. On October 6th, 610, Focas 
was overthrown and Flavius Heraclius I mounted 
the throne, after having offered it first to Priscus 
who declined it. 

The new emperor married his betrothed Flavia 
or Fabia, whom he crowned under the name of 
Eudoxia. This empress died on August 13, 612, 
leaving a daughter named Epiphania, born July 7, 

— 318 — 

611, and a son, born May 3, 612, who later became 
emperor under the name of Heraclius II Constantine 
and reigned jointly with his half-brother Heracleonas 

In 614 Heraclius married his niece Martina, the 
daughter of his own sister Maria, and there were born 
to them: Constantine, created Caesar in 616, Flavius 
and Theodosius; these died all three before their father; 
Heracleonas, born in 626, Caesar in 630, and Joint 
Emperor in 638; David, born November 7, 630, created 
Caesar in 641; also two daughters, Augustina and Mar- 
tina, and other children whom history does not mention. 

Taking personal command of his armies, Hera- 
clius drove out the Persians under Chosroes II (591- 
628) from Asia Minor, and advanced as far as the 
Tigris. In 622 he entered Armenia. Following this 
campaign, however, the Elmperor returned to his capital, and allowed 
himself to be engrossed thereafter with religious controversies, neglecting 
entirely the military affairs of the Empire. In the meantime the Arabs 



TINE and 


went rapidly ahead; Aboubeker seized Damas- 
cus (632) and Omar took Jerusalem (638); 
Mesopotamia, Syria and Palestine were for- 
ever lost to the Greeks. 

We possess coins of Heraclius alone, both 
as Consul and as Emperor, of Heraclius and 
Heraclius Constantine, of Heraclius and Hera- 
cleonas, of Heraclius, Eudoxia, and Heraclius 



Constantine (610-612), of Heraclius, Heraclius Con- 
stantine, and Martina (614-641), of Heraclius and Mar- 
tina (614-641), of the Emperor with his two sons Hera- 
clius Constantine and Heracleonas (638-641), all of 
them valuable documentary records of this ruler's 

According to Nicetas, the Emperor dying at the 
age of sixty-six decided that his two sons, Heraclius 
Constantine and Heracleonas, should reign together 
under Martina's regency. Thus in 641 we have coins 
of the two princes. But, on June 23rd of that year, 
Martina poisoned Heraclius Constantine, and her son Heracleonas there- 
after reigned alone. He appointed as Caesars to 
assist him his brother David Tiberius and Constans, 
the son of Heraclius Constantine. 





The reign of 

Heracleonas was a 

short one. In Sep- 
tember 641 he was 

deprived of the 

crown by the Sen- 
ate. Martina had 

her tongue cut out, 

Heracleonas lost his 

nose, and Flavius 

Heraclius, better 

known as Constans 

II, ascended the 

Imperial throne. 

After a reign of no 

note, he was assas- 
sinated (July 15th, 668) in Sicily, leaving three sons, Constantine Pogona- 
tus, Heraclius, and Tiberius. 

Constantine IV Pogonatus (the Bearded) ruled 
with the assistance of his two brothers (668), and in 
the first year of his reign put down a revolt by an 
Armenian named Mazizius who had proclaimed him- 
self emperor at Syracuse. This Emperor died on 
September 14th, 685 after seeing his capital besieged 









— 320 — 

seven times by the Arabs, between 669 and 678. 

JUSTINIAN II Justinian II Rhinotmetos (685-695 and 705-711), 

(685-695, the son of Constantine Pogonatus and Anastasia, as- 

and 705-711) cended the throne. He was driven from Constantinople 
and exiled to Kherson, but he regained his throne with the help of the 
Khazars and the Bulgars, and caused both Leontius (695-698) and Ti- 
berius V Absimarus (698-705) who had usurped the power, to be beheaded. 

Tiberius IV (705-711), the son of Justinian II, 
TIBERIUS IV was four years old when his father made him Joint 
(705-711) Emperor. But in 711 the people revolted and pro- 

claimed Filepicus Bardanes, who had Justinian II and 
his son put to death. Thus the dynasty of Heraclius became extinct, 
after occupying the Imperial throne for one hundred years. 

Filepicus was of Armenian extraction, a general of 

FILEPICUS Justinian IPs army and the son of the Patrician Nice- 

BARDANES phorus. His reign was brief; on June 3, 713, as the 

(711-713) result of a conspiracy and the victory of a faction called 

the "Greens", the plotters seized him during a repast, 



deposed him, and put out his eyes. In his stead, Artemlus Anastasius 
was proclaimed Emperor. 

Artavazdus was Commander-in-chief of the army 
ARTAVAZDUS in Armenia and had married Anna, the daughter 
(724) of Emperor Leo III. He proclaimed himself em- 

peror early in 742, but in November of that year 
he was defeated by his brother-in-law Constantine V. He was deposed 

— 321 — 





and had his eyes put out, a fate shared by his two 
sons, Nicephorus who had ruled with him as Asso- 
ciate, and Nicetas. 

On July 19th, 813, Leo V 
surnamed The Armenian, was 
raised to the throne by the 
army which had just defeated 
the Bulgarians. This prince had 
married Theodosia, the daughter of the Patrician Ar- 
savir; they had four sons: Sabatius or Sembates (Sem- 
pad) who under the name of Constantine VII was 
appointed Associate ruler of the Empire, Basil, Gre- 
gory, and Theodosius. On December 25th, 820, Leo 
was assassinated, and Michael II the Stammerer 
seized the power. 



Associated with the Imperial throne by Michael 

MICHAEL HI III surnamed The Drunkard (842-867), Basil (867- 

& BASIL I 886) murdered his colleague and benefactor, and 

reigned alone. By his second wife Eudoxia he had 

BASIL I and 

BASIL I alone 

several children, among them Leo the Wise and Alexander. By Maria, 

— 322 — 

an Armenian woman whom 
he repudiated, he had had 
a son Constantine VIII on 
whom he bestowed the Im- 
perial title in 868, and who 
died in 879. Basil died 
August 29th, 886. 

The reign of Leo VI 
the Wise or The Philoso- 
pher (886-912) was with- 
out note. He had associated with him on the Imperial throne his brother 
Alexander, and although he had four wives, he left only one son Constan- 
tme X Porphyrogenetus, born in 905. At his death in May 11th, 912, Leo 
left the throne to his brother, giving him charge of his son. 






Alexander was born Nov. 23rd, 871, and reigned 

ALEXANDER from 912 to 913 only. He shared his crown with his 

(912-913) brother Leo VI, then with his nephew Constantine X 

who was aged five only. He died June 4th, 913. 

LEO VI and 


and ZOE 



Constantine X Porphyrogenetus was named 
"Augustus" on June 9th, 911. He was then 
hardly seven years old, being born Sept. 1st, 
905. A Council, appointed by Alexander be- 

— 323 — 


fore his death, ruled therefore with him, and his 
first act was to call back from exile his mother Zoe 
Carbonopsine, with whom he reigned from 913 to 
919. In 919 he married Helena the daughter of 
Romanus Lacapenus, the Commander-in-chief of 
the Navy. The latter had himself crowned in 920, 
giving his three sons, Christophorus (920), Stephen 
and Constantine (928) each the title of Augustus. 
But in 944, Constantine X consigned Romanus to 
the island of Prote (where he died in 948), and 
thereafter ruled alone until the day of his death 
(Nov. 9th, 959). 


Constantine X left a son named Constantine, 
who according to some historians shortened his 
father's days by poison (1), also four daughters, 
Zoe, Theodora, Agatha, and Anna. 

Romanus I Lacapenus 

ROMANUS I (920-944) was the son of Theo- 

phylactus Abastactus, and was 

born in Armenia about the end of the 9th century. 

Romanus II was the son of Constantine X 





(1) CEDRENUS, 337, 20; ZONARAS. XVI, 22. 

— 324 — 

and Helena, and was twenty years old when he ascended 
the throne on Nov. 10th, 959. He married Theophanon 
and had three children by her, Basil whom he made 
Associate of the Empire April 22nd, 960, Constantine 
whom he also made associate on April 8th, and a daugh- 
ter named Anna. Poisoned by his wife, this ruler died 
March 15th, 963, Theophanon becoming Regent for her 
sons Basil H and Constantine XI. The 
JOHN Empress married Nicephorus Focas who 

ZIMISCES thus became Emperor (963-969), but she 
had him assassinated on Dec. 10th, 969, 

in connivance with John Zimisces, 

who took advantage of the youth 

of the two emperors and usurped 

the crown (969-976). Theophanon 

was exiled, but the death of John 

Zimisces on Jan. 11th, 976, restored 

the throne to the two sons of Ro- 

manus U. Basil H died Dec. 15th, 

1025 at the age of seventy years, THEOPHANON 

leaving his brother to reign alone. 


BASIL n and 



Constantine XI Por- 
CONSTANTINE XI phyrogenetus (10 2 5- 
PORPHYROGENETUS 1028) had three daugh- 
ters: Eudoxia, who took 
the veil, Zoe, and Theodora. 
Before his death he named 
as his successor the Patrician 
Romanus Argyrus, and or- 
dered him to repudiate his 
wife Helena and marry his 
daughter Theodora. The lat- 
ter refused him, however, so 
he married Theodora's sister, 
Zoe. The Byzantine throne 
departed consequently from 
the descendants of Leo V. 


— 325 — 

The following are the names of Armenian 
THE ARMENIAN princesses who wore the Imperial crown; 

Maria or Marina (788-795), the wife of Fla- 
vius Constantine VI; Theodosia (813-820), wife 
of Leo V; Euphrosine (823-830), daughter of Constan- 
tine VI and Maria, wife of Michael II the Stammerer; 
Theodora (830-867), wife of Theophilus; Helena (919- 
961), wife of Constantine X Porphyrogenetus; Theo- 
dora (971-976) daughter of Constantine X and sister 
of Romanus II, wife of John I Zimisces; Zoe, daughter 
of Constantine IX, who was the wife of Romanus III 
Argyrus (1028-1034); Theodora (1041-1056) daughter 
of Constantine XI and Helena, wife of Constantine XII 
who reigned alone in 1055 and 1056; and Rhita, Xene or Maria, the sister 
of Hetum II and daughter of Leo II, the king of New Armenia, who mar- 
ried Michael IX (1). 








Among the great number of Armenians who 
played important parts as officials of the Empire, 
we must give first mention to the eunuch Narses, 
a general of genius who by crushing the forces 
of the Goths and Franks restored Rome to Em- 
peror Justinian I. From 542 to 568 he governed 
the reconquered western portion of the latter's 

dominions. Also Isaac the Armenian, Exarch 

of Ravenna, who governed Italy from 625 

to 643. 

Armenian names were innumerable in the 
army, and the influence of such men of another 
land was felt not only from the military point 
of view but also in the various branches of the 
Government, likewise in science, art, and com- 
merce. It extended even beyond the Empire, 

(1) Mentioned by PACHYMEROS, vol. II, p. 205, and Niceph. GREG., Hist. 
Byr. VIII, 11. 

— 326 — 


and so-called barbarian countries sometimes had Armenians to rule them, 
e.g. Samuel (of Terdjan) who was king of Bulgaria in the 10th century. 

The Armenians not only attained a status of 
THE BAGRATID eminence in the capital of the Eastern world; their 
DYNASTY OF influence spread to the lands bordering on their 
own homeland. To the southeast their talents for 
public service had no scope in the face of Parthian 
and Sassanid hostility, and to the west and southwest 
Byzantine power was paramount; but in the north, in all the Transcaucas- 
ian countries, among the uncivilized nations, the Armenians were recognized 
for their superior ability. Georgia, the Modicum 
Hiberiae regnum of Tacitus (1) had from 
remotest times been divided into a great num- 
ber of Eristhawates or domains of princes, 
which were in turn split up into lands be- 
longing to the Aznaours or feudatories of the 
Eristhaws. Sassanid rule did not bring about 
any alteration, so that there was no political 
unity whatever among the Georgians, until 
the Armenian emperor Mauricius placed upon 
the throne of Iberia the first Bagratid sovereign 
of the country, Gouaram (575-600). There- 
after Georgia, Aghouania, Mingrelia, and all 
the small Kartvelian states of the southern 
slope of the Caucasus were governed by Ar- 
menian rulers, and the last of the Georgian 
kings Erekle II was still a Bagratid descendant. 
We will not go into any detailed list of this 

long line of kings, who had to fight, mi succession, the Sassanids, the Arabs, 
the Turks, the Mongols, and the Persians, and whose dynasty at least a 
score of times was placed in subjection, or even driven from their throne at 

(Mosaic at Ravenna) 

(1) XII. C. 43. 

— 327 

Tiflis or Mtzkhet. In their vicissitudes, they had 
help either from the Byzantines of Constantinople 
or from those of Trebizond, and lastly from the 
Russians, according to the ebb and flow of history. 
The kingdom of Georgia has some fine pages 
in its chronicles showing forth the struggles of 
the Kartvelians to maintain their national inde- 
pendence. They lacked, however, the high level 
of intellectual culture found in Armenia. The 
Georgians like all other Caucasians were Asiatic 
in their mode of warfare. Their art was taken 
from the Byzantines and Armenians, and ati 
Tiflis, Mtzkhet, Gori, and the small towns of the 
Greater Caucasus are to be seen fine examples of 
Christian Greek architecture, modified of course 
by local preferences. Their literature, however, with the exception of 
a few poems and an epic entitled "The Leopard's Skin", is almost wholly 
of a religious character and of secondary interest only. We must in 
justice add that among all the Kartvehan peoples, the Georgians alone 
showed any refinement, — the other Caucasians remaining up to modern 
times entirely uncivilized. The Georgians undoubtedly owe their cul- 
tural superiority as compared to their neighboring kinsmen to the in- 
fluence of the Byzantines and also of the Armenian dynasty that ruled 
over them for so many centuries. 





Though the Bagratids were called to reign over 
these Christian people, no such opportunity was of- 
fered them in the other countries bordering on Ar- 
menia. At the Persian court, as also at that of 
the Arabs and later the Turks, differences of re- 
ligion naturally stood between the Armenians and 
the throne; they filled nevertheless very important 
governmental positions. This dissemination of those who went out from 
Armenia into diverse groups was undoubtedly very prejudicial to their 
own nation's interests, for each group had its partisans in the homeland, 
and opposing factions stopped at nothing to safeguard their private in- 
terests and obtain the adoption of their particular views. They may, it 
is true, have secured helpful alliances for the Armenians, but such al- 
liances most frequently were burdensome for the people. 

— 328 — 

One could easily mention a number of Armenians who forswore their 
religion and achieved eminence in the Moslem States. Saladin, we are 
told by Alishan, was an Armenian Kurd, if not actually an Armenian. 
Azam Atabeg, prime minister of Shah Nasr-ed-Din, belonged to an Ar- 
menian family, as I have already said. But we need not recall these ren- 
egades' names; in renouncing their faith, they joined the enemies of 
their own nation. 

Just as the Byzantines drew Armenians into their service, the Mos- 
lem rulers also realized the assistance to be had from these active, intel- 
ligent, and industrious people. Shah Abbas I founded New Julfa at the 
gates of his capital. Mahomet II after the taking of Constantinople, 
desirous of offsetting Greek influence, invited the Armenians of Asia Minor 
to come and settle by the Golden Horn where there dwelt already a 
large colony of them. In 1461 Mahomet appointed, as Patriarch over 
all Armenians in Turkey, Hovakim, the bishop of Brusa, granting him the 
same privileges as Selim I, the Greek patriarch. After his victory at 
Chaldiran over the Persians in 1514, the Sultan brought many Armenian 
craftsmen from Tabriz in order to develop and improve industry within 
his dominions. In the early days of Ottoman rule there were at Smyrna 
and all coastal cities of the Black Sea numbers of Armenian artisans who 
enjoyed the goodwill of the authorities. Not only did the Turks ap- 
preciate the services rendered to their government by such good workers, 
but they were also glad to counterbalance in a degree the Greek Christians 
who were always a very numerous and turbulent element in their empire. 

Political causes for Armenian emigration were by no means the chief 
reason for the wide dispersion of this nation. They were certainly a 
large factor in strengthening Armenian business establishments in the 
great States adjoining their ancestral homeland, and such causes resulted 
in even more distant migrations; nevertheless only at Constantinople 
and at Isfahan did Armenian settlements really spring from any political 
background. The reason for the exodus of so many inhabitants to more 
benign lands is first and foremost the endless woes of their unhappy 
country, ever the cause and the scene of bloody warfare. 

Attracted by the opportunities for trade offered them within the 
Roman empire, many Armenians had settled from ancient times in the 
southern Black Sea ports. Armenian colonies had as early as the reign 
of Mithidrates the Great taken up their abode in Trebizond, Cerasus, 
Amisus, Sinope, Pontine Heracleum, and many other cities on the Ana- 
tolian coast, as also at Phasis in Iberia, and probably on the shores of 

— 329 — 

the Caspian Sea, in Atropatenes, at Rhagae, and along all the great trade 
routes of the East. Persepolis, Ecbatana, Babylon, and Susa had for- 
merly been the great Oriental commercial centers, but at the beginning 
of our era their places were taken by Pasagardae, Ctesiphon, Shuster, 
and Ahwaz, all of them marts for the goods landed in Chaldaea at the 
ports of Alexandria (of the Shatt-al-Arab) and ancient Teredon (Koweit). 
These cities traded with the north and naturally had their Armenian 
agents. Likewise, escaping from the persecution of their bloodthirsty 
oppressors, many others from the Ararat country fled to northern lands, 
to the Russian steppes and the Crimea where they remained in business 
relations with their homeland. 

The largest emigration that took place, however, was that following 
the fall of the Bagratid dynasty. As we have seen, Armenian colonies 
arrived In Cilicia and Cappadocia when Gaghik II was deported. Still 
larger numbers went out from the city of Ani and especially from the 
district of Shirak, and trekked to the Crimea. From that peninsula which 
was peopled with Tartars, they went westward in two main branches, one 
of which reached Gallcia, Podolia, and Volhynia, and the other Moldavia, 
whilst still another section of the Ani exiles settled in the city of Astrakhan 
after crossing the Qara-bagh and the Derbend pass. 

Just recently, a Polish writer, Adolf 
THE ARMENIANS Novatchinsky (1) has given us an account of 
IN POLAND the relations formerly existing between the Ar- 

menians and the Poles, and the arrival of the 
emigrants from the East in the Vistula and Dniester regions. He writes: 
"Long before the downfall of the Armenian kingdom, which occurred 
"in 1375, the Armenians made their appearance among us, having been 
"invited to come by David, the ruler of Galicia. 

"The first dismemberment of their country resulted in a heavy emi- 
"gratlon; the Armenian exiles, carrying with them a handful of their 
"native soil wrapped in cloth, scattered into southern Russia, into the 
"Caucasus, and the land of the Cossacks, and forty thousand of them 
"reached Poland. From then on, fresh waves of Armenian emigrants at 
"regular intervals left the Pontine shores for our hospitable Sarmatian 
"land, and it must be confessed that these guests from such a distance 
"were found to be the 'salt of the earth', so useful and desirable were 
"they In their new surroundings. They settled chiefly in the cities, and 
"in many places became the nucleus of Polish middle-class life. The city 

(1) In the Kuryer-Poranny of Warsaw. 

— 330 — 

"of Lwow (Lemberg), the most patriotic center in Poland and the scene 
"of so many historic upheavals, owes its renown largely to Armenian im- 
"migrants. Kamenets-Podolsk, the gem among our ancient fortresses, 
"got all its celebrity from the Armenians who settled there. In Bukovina 
"and all Galicia, the Armenian element plays a leading part in political 
"and social life, in industry, and in intellectual activities. Furthermore, 
"throughout Poland and its capital, Warsaw, the descendants of the 
"former great people on the Araxes have distinguished themselves in 
"all walks of life. In the battles of Griinwald and Warna, forbears of 
"the Alexandrovics, the Augustinovics, the Abgarovics, the Agopsovics, 
"and the Apakanovics took part. Also from the same Armenian stock 
"we have later such famous Poles as Malakovski, Missasowicz, Piramo- 
"vics, Pernatovics, Yakhovicz, Mrozianovsky, Grigorovicz, Baroutch, Theo- 
"dorovicz, etc. ..." 

Through their repeated emigrations, the Armenians in Poland gradu- 
ally became a colony of two hundred thousand spread over most of the 
cities and towns. They were welcomed by the Polish kings, and the rulers 
granted them not only religious freedom but also special political privi- 
leges. Casimir III (1333-1370) for instance gave the Armenians of Ka- 
menets-Podolsk in 1344, and those of Lwow in 1356, the right to form 
a national council entirely composed of Armenians and entitled the "Voit". 
This council of twelve judges administered Armenian affairs as a wholly 
independent body. All official acts and minutes were drawn up not only 
in the Armenian language but also according to Armenian law. From 
the year 1183 the Armenians of Lwow had a church, built first of all of 
wood, which was pulled down in 1363 and replaced by a larger edifice. 
This church became the general residence of the Armenian prelates of 
Poland and Moldavia. In 1516, by orders of Sigismund I (1507-1548), 
king of Poland, the Armenians opened, in the middle of a rich and 
aristocratic quarter of Lwow, their first Law-Court or Ratouche. Con- 
sequently these new arrivals in Poland were specially looked after and 
given many privileges. A trouble-maker arose in this peaceful colony, 
however, in the form of an Armenian priest named Nlcol Thorossowitch. 
This priest, notwithstanding the protests of the Armenians in Poland, 
had been consecrated as their Bishop by the Assistant Catholicos of 
Etchmiadzin, Melchisedec I of Garni (1593-1628), and at the instigation 
of the Jesuits of Lwow he started religious dissension among the Ar- 
menians. The quarrel took on such proportions that the Armenians 
openly revolted against Nicol and in 1631 complained to the new Catholi- 

— 331 — 

COS, Moves III (1629-1632), who sent a special legate to investigate the 
matter, at the same time writing both to the King of Poland and the 
Pope asking that aid and protection be given his envoy in the difficult 
task he had to accomplish. Nicol managed by his scheming to frustrate 
the intervention of the Catholicos, for this bishop actually proclaimed 
himself an adherent of the Roman Cathohc and Apostolic Church, and 
with the help of the Jesuits succeeded in confiscating the property and 
church buildings of the Armenian community. Thereupon, outraged by 
Nicol's actions, the Armenian inhabitants who numbered over fifty thou- 
sand departed from Lwow. Those who did remain, about five thousand 
of them, gradually yielded to the entreaties and propaganda of Vardan 
Hovnanian, Nicol's successor, and embraced the Roman Catholic faith 
(1689). A century later, in 1790, the Armenians of Poland lost all their 
rehgious and political privileges, and came under the general law of the 
land. (1) 

Poland was the birth-place of a certain number of Armenian scholars 
including Stepanos Rochkian and Stepanos of Poland. 

So ended this colony of Ani refugees in Poland, a community which 
foundered on the rock of religious dissension, ever the great scourge of 
the Armenian people. There remain, nevertheless, many indications today 
of the Armenian origin of these Poles whose ancestors once came from 
Asia. They have lost their language, it is true, but they have preserved 
some of their traditions, they intermarry, have their own church, and for 
pilgrimages they generally select Lwow where they have their cathedral 
built long ago on lines recalling their churches of old in ancient Ani, 
Until comparatively recent years, they had their own archbishop, Mon- 
signor Theodorovicz. The Slavic Poles always designate these families 
by the name of "Armens." 

Of those who emigrated from Lwow in the 17th century, ten thou- 
sand or so went to Moldavia, but in 1671 they were forced during the 
Turco-Polish war to settle in Bukovina and Transylvania. In Bukovina 
they chose the city of Suczawa and its surrounding district, while in 
Transylvania they themselves founded two new towns, Erzsebetvaros 
(Elisabethstadt) and Szamos-ujvar (Armienerstadt) which were by spec- 
ial privilege declared free cities by Charles VI Emperor of Austria 
(1711-1740). (2) 

(1) Cf. K J. BASMADJIAN, op. cit., p. 71 sq. 

(2) Cf. K. J. BASMADJIAN, op. cit, p. 36 sq, 

— 332 — 

Three centuries after the fall of Ani, another great 
THE exodus took place from the second homeland, new Ar- 

ARMENIANS menia. Very many Cilicians fled abroad for fear of 
IN WESTERN the Moslems. Crowds of them were received in Cy- 
EUROPE prus, Rhodes, and Crete, also at Smyrna and Con- 

stantinople, and all the lands still belonging to the 
Byzantine Empire. The coming of the Crusaders had familiarized the 
Armenians, however, with the Latin nations, and they soon began to 
flow towards Venice, Leghorn, Rome, Milan, Naples, Genoa, and Pisa, 
Armenian colonies being gradually formied in all these cities. Other emi- 
grants settled in France, at Marseilles where there is still a "Rue des 
Armeniens", and in Paris where unhappy King Leo had spent his last 

Egypt, where the last Armenian ruler was kept so long a prisoner, 
then had a considerable Armenian colony, and notwithstanding the hum- 
iliations and countless vexations the Christians were exposed to in 
that country from the Mamelukes, quite a number of refugees from Cil- 
icia settled there. 

Amsterdam also had its Armenian colony, but not of refugees from 
Ani or Sis. These arrivals were men and women from New Julfa near 
Isfahan, who had been doing business in India and the Persian Gulf with 
the Dutch and who eventually came to the Netherlands to settle.(l) 

Abbas had a purpose in protecting the Armenians and getting them 
to settle just outside his capital, for all business with the East was then 
in the hands of Christians (English, Portuguese, Dutch) with whom the 
Moslems found it difficult to deal directly; whereas the Persian monarch 
recognized that the Armenians would be the very middlemen he abso- 
lutely needed to bring prosperity to his dominions. With the encourage- 
ment of the Persian court, large Armenian col- 
THE ARMENIANS onies were founded in the busiest ports of India, 

IN INDIA Bombay, Calcutta, and Madras, also in Ceylon. 

Armenian business relations developed far afield, 
and enterprising merchants among them went still further Eastward, es- 
tablishing themselves at Singapore, in Batavia, and even in China. 

In eastern Asia, as we have seen, there were Armenian colonies at 
quite an early date. The oldest records we have of the settlements in 

(1) The carved inscription formerly in the Armenian church of Amsterdam is 
now at Marseilles in the Borelli Castle museum. 

— 333 — 

India go back to 1497, when they were already in Calcutta, long before 
Job Charnoch made it an important commercial metropolis in 1690. Con- 
sequently the capital of India owes its beginnings as a business center to 
the Armenians rather than to Europeans. (2) We have proofs of this 
in the tombstones discovered in the former Christian burial-grounds of 
Calcutta dating back earlier than 1690. In 1688 Armenians trading in 
the Indian ports obtained from the East India Company a charter dated 
June 22nd, securing them special benefits, and their factories became 
famous. In 1692 they enlisted in the English army, and fought with it 
during the 18th and 19th centuries. In India and in the Malayan archi- 
pelago, in the Philippines, Siam, Burma, and even in China (Canton and 
Nankin), they still number today more than twenty thousand. 

Of all these colonies, however, one of the 
'^^^ oldest(l) in the Mediterranean and one of the 

ARMENIANS IN ^^^^ important, at least intellectually, was that 
VENICE ^^ Venice. It owed its renown to the so-called 

Mekhitharist Congregation (2) who settled there on the island of Saint- 
Lazarus and became the leading Armenian cultural center. In IS 10, when 
the art of printing was spreading throughout Europe, the Mekhitharists 
started the first Armenian printing-press which subsequently rendered 
incalculable services to their people. A branch establishment at Trieste 
was followed by still another at Vienna, 

The Russian campaigns in Armenia against 
THE ARMENIANS the Persians and Turks, and the return of the 
IN RUSSIA Ottomans to the plateau of Erzerum resulted on 

numerous occasions in a large emigration of the 
Armenians under Moslem rule to the Czar's Transcaucasian possessions 
and to Russia itself. Moscow, Astrakhan, and the Crimea had colonies 
of them in the 17th century, and in 1708 Peter the Great gave these 
foreigners special privileges. 

(2) Cf N. & H. BUXTON, Travels and Politics in Armenia, p. 194. 

(1) In 1253 Count Marco Ziani offered the Armenians settled in Venice a 
house that still bears the name of "Armenian House." 

(2) From the name of its founder Mekhithar of Sebaste. 

— 334 — 

In 1746 the Russian Senate authorized the ap- 
RUSSIAN AD- plication of the national Armenian code to the Ar- 
MINISTRATION menians of Astrakhan. In 1765 Empress Catherine 

OF THE II granted the same privileges to the Armenians of 

ARMENIANS New Nakhitchevan. When, however, General Pas- 

kievitch, who sent Archbishop Nerses Into exile, 
came to power, Russian policy towards the Armenians changed, and the 
privileges granted by Peter the Great and Catherine II were one by one 
abolished, and replaced by a statute called Polojenic (11/23 March, 1836) 
setting forth the control of the Internal affairs of the Armenians in Russia, 
both religious and national, and placing the Synod of Etchmiadzin under 
the supervision of the Ministry in Petrograd, which was to be represented 
in the Synod by a Procurator. 

The Armenians are very numerous in Russia; there are about two 
millions of them, who belong to two distinct groups. One consists of the 
Inhabitants of the Armenian districts conquered from the Persians and 
the Turks; these were consequently liberated from Moslem rule. The 
other group is that of the Armenians who have emigrated at various 
periods and are scattered all over the Russian empire. The part of Ar- 
menia that came under Russian rule, from the 18th century until the 
treaties of Turkmen-Tcha'i In 1828 and San Stefano in 1878, comprises 
the former provinces of Gougarq, UtI, Phaidagaran, Artsakh, Siuniq, 
Airarat, and Taiq, also the colonies of Baku, TIflis, Batum, Poti, and that 
of the northern Caucasus. 

The Armenians in Russia are divided into six dioceses, governed by 
bishops whose appointment is subject to the Czar's approval. Each dio- 
cese has its Consistory presided over by its bishop, and these consistories 
are responsible to the Synod at Etchmiadzin. 

The Armenian dioceses in Russia are at present divided as follows: 

I. Erivan, comprising the provinces of Erivan and Kars, also the 
south-west portion of the province of lelisavetpol, i.e. the canton of Zan- 
guezur. By the terms of the Polojenie statute, the bishop of the diocese 
of Erivan Is none other than the Catholicos of all Armenians hinufeelf. 

II. Tiflis, or Georgia and Imeritia, with the provinces of TIflis, Kou- 
ta'is, and the Black Sea, as well as the northern part of the province of 

III. Choucha, or Qara-bagh, a diocese consisting of the cantons of 
Kariaguin, Choucha, Djivanchir, Noukhi, and Areche in the province of 

— 335 — 

IV. Chamakhi, containing the province of Baku and the canton of 

V. Astrakhan, consisting of the province of Astrakhan, the eastern 
Russian provinces, together with Siberia and Turkestan. 

VI. Bessa>rabia, comprising the western, northern, and southern prov- 
inces of Russia. 

In addition to the colonies in the Old World, 
THE ARMENIANS at present quite numerous in Paris, London, 
IN AMERICA Rome, Petrograd, and most of the large Euro- 

pean and Asiatic cities, we must remember the 
North American Armenians of whom there are over 100,000 today. 

The first Armenians to go to the New World(l) were two experts 
in silkworm-breeding, who at the invitation of the governor of Virginia, 
settled in that English colony in 1655. Very few Armenians landed on 
the shores of America until early in the 19th century. 

In 1834 a young man, 16 years old, Khachatour Voskanian came 
to New York to finish his education. He became a journalist and was 
active in American literature. Later, Harouthioun Vehapetian arrived for 
the purpose of continuing his studies there; he became Patriarch, first at 
Constantinople, and then at Jerusalem. 

From 1834 to 1867 there were no more than fifty or sixty Armenians 
in the United States all told, and in 1870-1871 they numbered only sixty- 
nine. Then there began, however, the actual emigration caused by Ar- 
menia's sufferings during the Russo-Turkish war of 1876-1877. Ar- 
menians thereafter went to the New World no longer just to study,' but 
to earn a livelihood and if possible make enough money to go back one 
day to their native land. 

Armenian arrivals in America increased in proportion as the un- 
happy people's woes overwhelmed them, as is shown by statistics. In 
1912, 9350 landed in United States ports, and the following year over 
10,000, so that by 1916 their numbers reached at least 100,000. 

We find therefore that, omitting the few Armenians who are scat- 
tered in South America and Oceania, and taking just the principal settle- 
ments, about 300,000 Armenians have left their homeland to live abroad; 
100,000 are in the United States, 20,000 in the Far East, 40,000 in Egypt, 
and 20,000 in Austria-Hungary. These latter are either the remnants 
of the medieval emigration to Poland, or newcomers in Budapest, Vienna 
and other large centers. Bulgaria has about 20,000 Armenians who 

(1) Cf. Edw. EGGLESTONE, The Beginners of a Nation, New York, 1875. 

— 336 — 

came after the fall of Ani or later from Constantinople. The 8000 Ar- 
menians in Roumania are emigrants from Poland, as are also those of 
Bessarabia. Those at Kief have been living there ever since Alexander, 
the great Prince of that city, called them to his side in 1060 to help him 
fight the Poles. Most of the Armenian groups in the northern Caucasus 
date from the Middle Ages, but since the incorporation of part of Armenia 
in the Czar's territory, Russian Armenians have founded business houses 
and industries In all the large cities of the Empire. 

Cyprus, the isles of the Archipelago, Greece, Italy, and western Europe 
contain about 8000 Armenians who largely belong to the nation's elite. So 
that up to 1914 we find the total number of Armenians to be 4,160,000 — 
of whom 2,380,000 were living under Turkish rule, 1,500,000 under that 
of the Russian Emperor, and 64,000 In the provinces of Persia and various 
other foreign settlements. This brings to about 4,500,000 the total num- 
ber of Armenians In the world, a number which the recent disasters have 
reduced to an extent we cannot yet accurately calculate. We can reckon, 
however, that there are at least three millions of Armenians throughout 
the globe.(l) 

This Is not the place, in the history of a people, to delve into Its 
possible future. We have seen in the foregoing pages that the Armenian 
nation has been struggling for two thousand years to preserve Its free- 
dom, and that early in this 20th century it has been placed 
by fate In the most cruel position that could befall a people. Politically 
speaking Armenia exists only In the past, but from the viewpoint of 
their nationality, this race has lost none of the vitality, of the initiative, 
and the aspirations it had in the days of yore. And so she stands today 
before the tribunal of the world's conscience and claims her century-old 
rights to liberty and life. 


(1) The population of many of the smaller states of Europe is not above that 
of the Armenian nation: Denmark has 2,450,000 inhabitants; Servia, 2,625,000; Switz- 
erland. 3,325,000; Bulgaria, 3,745,000, etc. 

— 337 — 


Literature, Science, and Arts among the Armenians 


When the Armenians were in Asia Minor and still belonged to the 
Phrygian nation, the art of writing was unknown to them, and such was 
the case among all the Indo-European peoples of those remote times. 

The only known systems of writing used then were Egyp- 

ANCIENT tian hieroglyphic and their derivatives, hieratic and de- 

ASIATIC motic, In the Nile valley, the cuneiform in the southern part 

WRITING of western Asia, and the Phoenician alphabet drawn from 

the Egyptian hieratic on the Syrian seaboard. The Hlttites 
maintained their hieroglyphic writing and lagged, therefore, behind the 

— 338 — 

Chaldeans and Egyptians who developed this system into more cursive 
modes of thought-expression. 

Whilst the Armeno-Phrygians were dwelling together in Asia Minor, 
i.e. in the 9th to the 8th century B.C., the Greeks adopted the use of 
writing from the Phoenician system. The records reaching us from an- 
tiquity would indicate that this progressive step took place in the island 
of Thera known to have been one of the chief centers of Phoenician cul- 
ture in Hellenic lands. Herodotus tells us(l): "The Greeks were first 
"taught the use of letters as they were employed by the Phoenicians. 
"Subsequently alterations were made in the values of the different char- 
"acters and their application." In any case it took several centuries for 
writing to be established and diffused in Greece, and the Armenians had 
already left Phrygia for the Ararat regions when the peoples of Asia 
Minor first realized the importance of the art of writing. 

The Phrygians also adopted a graphic system taken from the Hel- 
lenic alphabet, and the few inscriptions left us of this people are all ex- 
tremely ancient. The chief ones among them are those on the monu- 
mental tombs cut out of the rocks of the ancient Phrygian city of Prym- 
nessus.(2). The largest of these burial-places contained the remains of 
a king named Midas. These inscriptions were studied by Ch. Lassen(3) 
who succeeded in ascertaining to what linguistic family Phrygian belonged, 
and in discovering all the forms of Phrygian declension besides definitely 
establishing the values of its different characters. 

We cannot tell whether the Armenians ever knew this system of 
writing, but from the complete lack of any very ancient stone inscriptions 
both on the rocks of Armenia itself and in any of the territory they crossed 
on their way to Ararat, we are Impelled to the conclusion that the Phrygian 
alphabet was born subsequently to the eastward trek of the descendants 
of Haik. 

The cuneiform system would seem to have disappeared from the 
Ararat regions along with the overthrow of the Urartu kingdom. The 
spoken language of the Urartaeans certainly must have taken a long time 

(1) Herodotus, V. 58. 

(2) Cf. TEXIER, Description de I'Asie Mineure, vol. I, pi. LVI & LIX, p. 156. 

(3) Ueber die Sprachen Klein-Asiens, in Z. d. D. M. G, vol. X. p. 371-376. 

— 339 — 

to fade out entirely, but it ceased to be in evidence at all politically. 

During the Achaemenian period, Aramaic writing, which was a spe- 
cial form of Phoenician, was in current use in the dominions of the Great 
Kings. This system did not suit the character of Aryan languages, and 
the Persians when they made use of it wrote in the Semitic language. 
The Iranian tongue was expressed only by transformed cuneiforms, made 
into syllables. Neither of these two methods of writing, therefore, could 
meet the needs of the Armenians. 

The conquests of Alexander which made the use of the Greek alpha- 
bet widespread, gave the Asiatic Aryans a chance to crystallize their various 
languages, but the Hellenic characters did not include signs that corres- 
ponded to all the sounds of the Persian and Armenian languages, and 
consequently Greek was used in Persia at the same time as the so-called 
Persepolitan characters. The latter were derived from the Aramean which 
under the Sassanids had already developed into the Pehlevi. Bactriana 
evolved a different mode of writing, while India had a distinct develop- 
ment, both these countries being indebted, however, to characters of 
Phoenician origin for the basis of their respective graphic systems. 

There is reason to believe that many centuries after 
ARMENIAN Aramaean writing developed Into Persepolitan, Pehlevi, 
WRITING Syriac, and other forms that met the needs of the various 
Semitic languages, the Armenians adopted a special mode 
of writing with characters borrowed largely from the Syriac alphabet, the 
Greek, and others akin to that used at Palmyra. Agathangelus, Faustus, 
and Lazarus of Pharp seem of this opinion. This 
alphabet must have remained in a rudimentary 
state, however, and it was probably inadequate 
for all the sounds of the Armenian tongue. It 
may have been used at the time that Christianity 
was first preached In Armenia, but in any case, 
if it ever existed Its inadequacy soon made it 
obsolete, and towards the end of the 4th century 
of our era it was still known only to a few schol- 
ars such as Daniel, the Syrian bishop and philo- 
sopher. This alphabet was eventually taken and 
Improved on by Mesrop, assisted by the monk 

(Department of Medal- 
lions in Paris) 

— 340 — 

As long as the Arsacid dynasty lasted in Persia, Greek was in great 
vogue throughout western Asia; it was the official language of Iran and 
the second language of the Roman Empire. It was very useful to those 
preaching Christianity in Armenia and the Caucasian countries. With 
the arrival of the Sassanid rulers, however, Greek was forbidden through- 
out the dominions of the Great King and the Persians did everything 
possible to drive it out of Armenia, where Syriac took its place for re- 
ligious books. As a matter of fact the masses of the Armenian people 
were familiar neither with Greek or Syriac, nor with Pehlevi-Persian. 
Only in a few border provinces were those languages used as an auxiliary 
tongue, whilst Armenian alone was understood in the interior. 

It became more than ever necessary, therefore, to follow 
MESROP the general line of progress, and stabilize in writing the Ar- 
menian language, giving the people a sacred literature they 
could understand. Mesrop set to work to meet this need. 

His hardest task, certainly, was to analyze the different sounds, for 
the Armenian tongue was not homogeneous; it varied according to prov- 
inces. Mesrop selected one of the dialects, that of the Ararat country, 
either because he considered it the purest, or because it was spoken by 
more Armenians than any other, or else again because it was employed 
at court. In any case, with the help of Greek, Syriac, Iranian-Avestic, 
and Semitic Pehlevi, he accomplished his work. He gave (as in Zend and 
sometimes also in Greek) special signs for the various vowel intonations, 
and he expressed all consonantal sounds whether simple or compound 
by single characters. This method of alphabet-formation was adopted 
later, moreover, by the Russians and the other Slavic peoples. The 
splitting of consonantal sounds would undoubtedly have simplified the 

— 341 

tuusttt' l;^'^nh^J|;^ 





T.nrug.tnuu* irtULt 



I iimiHIbQ-tUlTFirtMJl' 


bX 2. UV f 




(Tarkmantchatz Gospel, Constantinople, from document lent by M. F. Mader) 

new alphabet by doing without some of the letters, but the scholarly 
analyst of those days did not use the strict methods we follow today. 
Mesrop sought to achieve a means of complete phonetic rendition, and 
he succeeded with remarkable perspicacity. 

Some writers, including Vartan, are of the opinion that Daniel's al- 
phabet had 22 characters and that Mesrop adopted only 17 of them, add- 
ing first 12 consonants and then 7 vowels of his own. According to Asso- 
ghik, on the contrary, Daniel's alphabet contained 29 letters, and Mesrop 
merely completed it with 7 vowels. 

We feel we must reject Assoghig's opinion because It was impossible 
for Daniel to find in Aramaean, Syriac, or Pehlevi all the consonantal 
sounds of the Armenian language and practically all the vowels were 
lacking in those languages. Mesrop, after numerous unsuccessful attempts 
to employ Daniel's alphabet, took the latter as merely his starting-point 

— 342 — 

t'ifCJiitiMiSMliJnisjii p 


Uib55rni|7-i:(i, Q*bo- 


5np«#-mrizuii5h3pip/^ • 
n-cuhnrni-u in*ci.i;^ir II 



(Gospel-book at Etchmiadzin, from a document lent by F. Macler) 

and applied himself to the study of the Greek system of writing. In- 
fluenced by the latter he formed the final Armenian alphabet which like the 
Hellenic was used from left to right, in contradistinction to Oriental 
usage. Mesrop adopted for Armenian the Greek method of forming 
syllables. Accordingly the Mesropian alphabet consists of signs taken 
from Daniel's letters with some changes probably, filled in beyond question 
by borrowings from the Greek and some Oriental alphabets in order to 
express the vowels and consonants missing in Daniel's system, missing 
because they were not present in the Semitic languages. About this time 

— 343 — 

a similar transformation, and one due to the same causes, took place in 
Iran where the Zoroastrian clergy taking the Pehlevi writing as their 
basis created an entirely made-up Zend alphabet. Their aim was to 
rescue the Avestic writings of the old Aryan language from the obscurity 
to which they were relegated by the use of Semitic characters. 

The blessing of a written language in the Ararat country meant the 
beginning of a great intellectual upswing for Armenia. Not only could 
the Scriptures and scriptural commentaries be translated into Armenian, 
thanks to the new alphabet, but it caused a development of secular litera- 
ture, and raised the general 
cultural level. Until then the 
I ^y ^ people had been satisfied with 

Q3«*r>^ ►I?|pl?p(«'»*f-*»*4r** 4—*^ oral traditions just as the 

lp« CCp ^..^aS. J^-iX^ Greeks and all Indo-Eurc. 
La ^ 7 4 JJiLdUk pean peoples once were. With 

tjj^^w 3t,^^.|-ji.»*-fc •i^^-IK-ir- ^ language and a literature all 

their own, national sentiment 

NOTRAGIR ARMENIAN WRITING ^^^j^ ^^^^ j^^^^ ^f both, and it 

(More recent form) , . -j 4.t,„4. ;«. :- 

(Zeitonn 1596) ^^^^^^ ^e gamsaid that it is 

largely due to Mesrop that the 
Armenian people came through all their centuries of struggle, servitude, 
and persecution, without losing their nationality. 

Mesrop's task was chiefly undertaken with a view to spreading the 
Christian religion, but a subsidiary purpose was the emancipation of 
the Armenians from the influence of foreign clergy. The first works in 
Armenian, consequently, were translations of Greek and Syriac writings 
all dealing with religious subjects. They included the Bible and the 
Gospels, the writings of Ephrem the Syrian, the Hexameron of Basil of 
Caesarea, the homilies of St. John Chrysostom, the Ecclesiastical History 
of Eusebius, that of the conversion of Edessa, the (apocryphal) corres- 
pondence of Christ with Abgar, by the Syrian Laroubna, the Syriac 
liturgy, that of St. Basil, etc., besides the various writings in Armenian 
itself such as Mesrop's biography by his disciple Korioun, the 'refutations 
of sects' by Eznik, the history of Armenia's conversion to Christianity, 
ascribed to Agathangelus, and the history of Armenia under the Persian 
Arsacids, ascribed to Faustus of Byzantium. To these must be added 
the hymns written in Armenian ascribed by tradition to Mesrop and his 
great collaborator, Catholicos Sahak. 

— 344 — 

Before the time of Mesrop, there was certainly 

ANCIENT no written Armenian literature. Statutes and royal 

ARMENIAN rescripts, along with administrative documents, were 

LITERATURE written in Greek during the period of Arsacid rule, and 

in Pehlevi under the Sassanids. The same applies to 
the historical chronicles or annals compiled during those centuries whether 
by Armenians or non-Armenians. These latter works have not been 
preserved to us, and Moses of Khoren alone makes mention of any of 
their authors. He mentions Mar-Apas-Katina (whom some authorities 
think might have been Berose), Olym-pius (Aghioub) of AnI, the high- 
priest of Ormuzd, who lived In the later half of the second century of our 
era and wrote a history of his times, Bardesanes and Khorohput, two 
Iranian annalists. Some contemporary authorities look upon these writers 
as Inventions of Moses of Khoren, but such a view Is very questionable 


and hardly tenable, for It is not at all likely that a country that had 
reached Armenia's state of development would not have recorded its 
history. We know, moreover, from reliable sources that the Armenian 
upper classes were quite cultured, and that both at the court and at the 
residences of the Satraps, living was sumptuous and embelhshtJ with 
all kinds of expressions of art. Among the nobility were literary men 
of note, such as Artavazd, the son of TIgranes the Great, who wrote 
tragedies and discourses In Greek and whose works are praised by Plu- 
tarch; Vrouyr, of a royal family of satraps, mentioned by Armenian his- 
torians as a poet of merit; and Parouyr (Proereslos In Greek), the "prince 
of orators", who was known for his eloquence In Rome, and to whom his 
pupil Gregory of Nazlanzus refers with great admiration In his writings. 
Historians tell us that In the Imperial City a monument was raised to 
Parouyr with the following inscription: "Rome, the Queen of Cities, to 
the King of Eloquence." What constituted the real Armenian literature 
of this period, however, were the orally transmitted songs of the bards. 
All that has come down to us, unfortunately, of this ancient poetry are 

— 345 — 

fragments quoted by Moses of Khoren and Gregory Maglstros. We 
do know, however, from the chroniclers' frequent reference to them, that 
these songs were not only numerous and diversified, but enjoyed great 
popularity. Even Christianity, according to Faustus of Byzantium, did 
not succeed in uprooting them altogether in spite of centuries of effort, for 
the spirit permeating them reappeared in a new form, in the Middle Ages, 
among the troubadours. 

This ancient poetry was vibrant with epic inspiration. It sang of 
the gods mighty and serene, of Ormuzd "the founder of humankind", "the 
father of the Gods and all heroes", "the Architect of the Universe", "the 
Creator of Heaven and Earth", the "Wise" and the "Valiant One", of 
Mihr, the invisible Fire, Son of Ormuzd, the essence of universal life, 
the god of light and heat; of Nana, the goddess of motherhood, the pro- 
tectress of the family; of Astlik, the goddess of beauty and love, pro- 
tectress of virgins; of Amanor, the god of the New Year and of hospitality; 
of Anahit, goddess of fecundity and wisdom, the "temperate and immacu- 
late Lady", the "golden-winged Mother", the protectress of Armenia; of 
Vahakn, the god of strength, Astlik's lover, who fought with dragons, 
hunted wild beasts, and who was born in the birth-throes of heaven and 

In travail were both heaven and earth. 

In travail was the crimson sea. 

The small red reed was seized with labor in the sea, 

And from its stem there issued smoke, 

From the small reed's stem there issued flame. 

And athwart the flame there sprang a youth, 

Sprang a fair-haired youth; 

His hair was as of fire, 

His nascent beard of flame. 

And his eyes, they were as suns! (1) 

This early Armenian poetry sang of legendary or historic heroes, 
of Haik, the "sturdy hero of noble frame, with his curly hair, his keen 
eye and robust arm, brave and renowned among the Giants" (2); of 
Aram, the vanquisher of Nioukar, the Median tyrant whom he took prls- 

(1) Moses of KHOREN, I, chap. xxxi. 

(2) ID., chap X & XI. 

— 346 — 

oner and with his hand nailed through his forehead to the top of the 
tower of Armavir; Ara the Handsome, who in fidehty to his motherland 
and his wife Nevarte, refused the hand of the wanton Chamiram (Semira- 
mis) fallen violently in love with him, and who died in combat with the 
Assyrian queen seeking to possess him by force of arms; King Tigrancs 
who killed the tyrant Ajdahak, king of the Medes; King Artashes II, who 
overcame all his country's enemies and raised his land to a high level 
of power and prosperity. It sang of Artavazd, the gloomy and passionate 
prince-royal who, cursed by his father, good King Atashes, was thrown 
by the genii from Mt. Ararat into a deep abyss where he forever dwells, 
doomed to live always, chained to a rock lest "should he emerge, he des- 
troy the world." It sang also of Tork, the Giant symbol of Strength, who 
crushed rocks in his hands, scratched eagles' wings on stones with his 
very finger-nails, and who one day caused a crowd of ships to be engulfed 
in a storm in the Black Sea by throwing therein huge rocks from a hill- 
top.(l) In all these indistinct legends and traditions we find Assyria, 
Media, and Persia mingling with Grecian myth and ancient national 
memories of the descendants of Haik. 

Victor Langlois, in the foreword to his collection of ancient and 
modern historians of Armenia, devotes some very interesting pages to 
its popular songs of those remote times. He writes: "These songs chiefly 
"recall events, mostly heroic and legendary, that took place at quite 
"different periods, leading to the conclusion that they must have been 
"composed at various times by rhapsodists whose names are forgotten. 
"The subject-matter of these songs clearly shows that they did not spring 
"either from pagan priests, or from poets influenced by the latter, for 
"recital in religious ceremonies or altar-worship. We must recognize, 
"on the contrary, that they were composed by national bards with free 
"access to the ruler's palace and the satrap's court." These minstrels 
are the ancestors and forerunners of the modern achoughs who In our 
time still go from village to village and house to house singing their poems. 

As regards knowledge of Armenian beginnings, however, the achoughs 
must bear little comparison with those ancient bards who sang of the strug- 
gle to conquer the Armenian land, of the battles waged by the giants, by 
the companions of the great Haik. Their ballads are gone forever. 

We might lean to the opinion. If we heeded what Moses of Khoren 
says of the oral poems of old, that they formed a complete epic, like the 
Shah-Nameh of the Persians. The fragments we have, however, and 

(1) A. TCHOBANIAN, Chants popnlaires armeniens, Introd., p. Ixxv- sq. 

— 347 — 

the conditions under which the poetry sprang up, point rather to their 
being detached compositions, love poems, dancing and wedding songs, 
sacred hymns, and invocations to the gods, reminding one of the Spanish 


These epic songs were, moreover, not the only literary output of the 
Armenians in pagan times; they undoubtedly possessed narratives passed 
on by word of mouth, recited by their old folk during the long winter 
evenings to the family seated around the hearth, stories in prose or in 
verse, recalling for their emulation the deeds of prowess achieved by men 
of their race, by villages, or by tribes. These are lost treasures, unfor- 
tunately, forgotten epics whose fables would have been so much valued 
by us today, but for which Christian historians substituted fictions woven 
around Bible subjects. The first historical works are so imbued with 
this superposition of Christian legend that for centuries the early days 
of the Armenians were represented by fanciful tales mostly based on 
Hebrew legend, and the effects of this unfortunate deviation are seen too 
in all writings of medieval Christendom. 

The literature peculiar to Christian Armenia owed its Inception and 
main development to the clergy and was naturally governed by the spirit 
of the new religion. It consisted of Scriptural translations and commen- 
taries, theological writings, liturgical hymns, dissertations, sermons, and 
numerous historical works wherein the religious element was predominant. 
Nevertheless, notwithstanding this absorption of thought and the ex- 
clusiveness of the clergy, ancient predilections were so deeply rooted among 
the people that some links were maintained between the ancient heathen 
poetry and that of the new civilization. There came about In Armenia 
just as In western Europe a revival of that pre-Christian sentiment, and 
quite a number of priests (as was the case In France from the ISth century 
on) let themselves be carried away by secular themes. 

As we find It In the most ancient writings preserved to us, whether in 
the original or In translation, the Armenian language is seen to contain a 
wealth of poetry and lyric rhythm, and to be permeated with sturdy 
patriotism. We cannot help concluding that Its early writers, in fashion- 
ing the national medium of thought that they used so splendidly, must 
have drawn generously on the ancient Armenian bards. Aided by Greek 
culture mostly imbibed In the Byzantine centers which they purposely 
visited, they endowed their native tongue, already well-rounded by their 
heathen predecessors, with a scholarly and refined finish. All experts 
who have undertaken a close study of the Armenian language agree in 

— 348 — 

assigning to it a very high place among the most accurate vehicles of 
human thought. The translation of the Bible, for instance, is looked 
upon as an outstanding literary monument, and the original work of 
Eznik, the purest Armenian writer of that period, is the equal of that of 
any among the most renowned masters of prose. 

Although we are not in a position to compare the lost heathen litera- 
ture of Armenia with that of its early Christian period, we notice never- 
theless many flights of ancient national thought in frequent passages of 
certain historians, as also even in religious hymns. Cannot the same 
be said, moreover, of the CathoHc Hterature of the west, in our own 
church hymns, and also in the liturgical words of the Orthodox Church? 
The breath of Greece and Rome left indelible impressions everywhere 
that it reached. 

In an historical work such as this, it is impossible to mention all 
the writers among such an abundant literature, much less to give any 
analysis of their respective works. I will limit myself, consequently, 
to naming just a few of the chief Armenian authors, and beg the reader 
seeking to enlarge his knowledge of the subject to refer to the special 
works thereon. (1) 

(1) The following are some of the books and articles dealing with this subject: 
Ed. DULAURIER, Recueil des Historiens des Croisades, vol. 2, Les Documents 
armeniens. — Etienne ASSOGHIK, Histoire universelle, transl of part I. — Victor 
LANGLOIS, Collection d!'Historiens armeniens, 2 vols. — BROSSET, Collection 
d'Historiens armeniens, 2 vols. — Histoire d'Armenie, by VARTABED ARISTACES 
of Lastivert, transl. by Evariste PRUD' HOMME. — SAINT-MARTIN, Me- 
mories historiques et geographiques sur I'Armenie. vol. 2. Histoire des Orpelians, 
by Etienne ORPELIAN. — Prosopopee-Allegorie, from the Rose and the Nightingale 
of Mark-Zacharia CHODJENTZ of Erivan, transl. by Ed. LEVAILLANT DE FLORI- 
VAL. — Felix NEVE, L'Arminie chritienne et sa litterature. — A TCHOBANIAN, 
Poemes armeniens anciens et modernes; Chants populaires armeniens; Les Trou- 
veres armeniens; L'Armenie, son Histoire, sa Litterature, son role en Orient; L'Ar- 
minie, son passe, sa culture, son avenir; La France et le Peuple armenien; Poems: 
La Vie et le Reve; Offrande poetique a la France; La Litterature armenienne an- 
cienne et contemporaine, 3 articles (Revue Encyclopedique Larousse) ; Gregoire 
de NAREK, (Mercure de France) ; transl. of the novel Djelaleddin, by RAFFI 
(Revue des Revues). — Frederic MACLER, Histoire d^Armenie, of Bishop SEBEOS, 
Fables of MEKHITAR GOCHE, Contes armeniens, Nouvelles, by Marie SEVADJIAN 
Petite Bibliotheque armenienne, (a series of volumes containing translations of the 
and H. ARAKELIAN). — Minas TCHERAZ, Nouvelles armeniennes; Poetes ar- 
meniens. — Tigrane YERGAT, Litterature armenienne, (Revue des Revues). Revue 
Franco-Etrangere (issue of May 1916) poems by Daniel VAROUJAN, Adom YAR- 
Armenian Poems, Boston. — Miss Zabelh BOYAJIAN, Armenian Poems and Legends, 
London. — La Poesie armenienne, translation of selections published under editor- 
ship of Valery BRUSOFF, Moscow. — Anthologie armenienne, published at Petro- 
grad under editorship of Maxim GORKY. 

— 349 — 

Most of the large number of historians and chroniclers of the 5th 
to the 14th centuries furnish us with highly interesting documentation 
regarding not only Armenia but also adjacent Asiatic peoples and the 
Byzantine Empire. Some of them, moreover, are authors of considerable 
note, including a few who are real poets rather than annalists. 

The earliest of these writers is undoubtedly Korioun, who lived about 
the middle of the 5th century, and whose Lije of Mesrop contains very 
many interesting details concerning Armenia's conversion to Christianity, 
also concerning the invention of writing. The most noteworthy historians 
of this period, however, are Agathangelus and Faustus of Byzantium. 
It was long thought that the two books ascribed to these authors (believed 
by some to have been written by Korioun himself) were originally in 
Greek, but this opinion is no longer held. The History of Gregory the 
Illuminator and King Tiridates by Agathangelus is a fine piece of litera- 
ture, both for purity of style and language, while Faustus' Chronicle 
is more picturesque and vivid. As historical documents these two works, 
especially the second, are most valuable. The same may be said of The 
History of Taron, by Zenobius of Glak, who lived in the same period. 
He relates the furious fighting of the pagan priests against the preachers 
of Christianity and the satraps who accompanied the latter. 

One of the leading figures of the same period was Elisha to whom 
we are indebted for the story of the uprising of Christian Armenia against 
the rule of the Sassanid Persians, worshipers of Ormuzd, including the 
deeds of valor of Vardan Mamikonian, Armenia's national hero. Elisha is 
a real epic poet. Then we have Lazarus of Pharp, an excellent historian, 
restrained, chaste, and precise in style. In his History of Vahan Mami- 
konian, (his contemporary), he rehearses the prowess of this valiant 
prince whose courage and ability raised Armenia from the ruin she was 
in after the fall of the Arsacid dynasty. 

In the 7th century Sebeos, another author of note, wrote his History 
of Emperor Heraclius, most valuable for students of that time and ex- 
tremely useful for Byzantine history. Likewise Moses of Kalankdit wrote 
concerning the Aghouan people and events of the same period in Trans- 

Teh Bagratid era is no less prolific in writers than the preceding period 
of the Graeco-Persian struggles for Armenia. This era includes John 
Catholicos and Thomas Artzruni, both of whom relate the events of 
their day in the kingdom of the Bagratids and that of Vaspurakan; Ste- 
phen Assoghik, author of a Universal History, the second part of which 

— 350 — 

deals with events under the Bagratids; Ukhthannes, who wrote a History 
of Armenia; and finally, Aristaces of Lastivert who chronicled the dis- 
asters culminating in the fall of Ani and the destruction of the Bagratid 
kingdom. This writer's stirring pages have earned him the title of the 
"Armenian Jeremiah." 

Among the historians of the Armeno-Cilician period, i.e. from the 
11th to the 14th century, we must mention Vahram of Edessa, secretary 
of King Leo III (1271-1289), who wrote a rhymed chronicle as a sequel 
to the historical poem of St. Nerses the Gracious, dealing with the Haikian, 
Arsacid, and Bagratid dynasties of Greater Armenia; Matthew of Edessa 
whose History relates the events of the time of the Emperors Nicephorus 
Phocas and John Zimisces; Samuel of Ani, author of a chronicle summariz- 
ing Armenia's history from its very beginning up to his own time; Ste- 
panos Orbelian who in his History of Siuniq gives us a sketch of the sa- 
trapal family of that province; Vartan Vartabed and Kirakos of Gandzak 
who both wrote of the Mongol invasions; Hetum, Marshall of Armenia 
and Count of Gorigos, whose Narrative of the Tartars and Chronological 
Tables include the period 1076-1308; Sempad, Constable of Armenia and 
brother of King Hetum I who has left us a chronicle that is an epitome 
of those of Matthew of Edessa and Gregory the Priest (952-1152) fol- 
lowed by his own compilation until the year 1274, with an anonymous 
continuation up to A.D. 1335. (We should add that Samuel of Ani's 
work is based first on Eusebius' chronicle which he adapted to the history 
of Armenia in particular, and that he then carried it on until 1140, after 
which date an unknown writer continued it until A.D. 1340.) 

Among all the historians of Armenia, however, the 

MOSES OF most famous is indisputably Moses of Khoren. This 

KHOREN writer was for many years looked on as the Herodotus 

of Armenia, but his work is much contested today and 
has lost some of its earlier reputation for reliability. Its value is cer- 
tainly diminished by his attempt to link up his nation with Biblical trad- 
itions, but as we have seen, this is a defect common to most Christian 
Latin and Greek writers in the early days of Christianity. Moses of 
Khoren is notable for his pure style and concise language, and his work 
is especially meritorious for its frequent refusal to voice merely the one- 
sided sentiments of the new religion and willingness in many cases to 
transcribe for us pagan traditions and legends; thus we are indebted to 
him for whole pages of annals, which have been since lost but which he 

— 351 — 

was able to turn to in the originals. We owe to him what little has been 
preserved of the ancient songs of the people, along with a large number 
of documents that open up a wide vision of the centuries prior to Mesrop. 
Some authorities consider this historian to have lived in the century 
following the Arab conquest, while others assign him to the sixth century. 
In any case his writings constitute a precious record of the thought of 
ancient Armenia, and are of inestimable documentary and literary value. 

Naturally enough, the poetical genius of the Ar- 
LITURGICAL menian people underwent a change under the influence 
POEMS of Christianity, at least in the subject-matter of their 

poems. The heathen songs to the gods of yore were 
replaced by Christian hymns, composing which was a pursuit highly es- 
teemed throughout Christendom. St. Mesrop and St. Sahak themselves 
were, according to tradition, the pioneers of this new vogue which spread 
rapidly in Armenia. In countless monasteries, in the parish-churches, and 
bishop's palaces, new hymns were composed daily to the glory of the 
Lord. These works of which many are still used in the Armenian liturgy 
were mostly anonymous, and we have to wait till the 7th century for a 
church poet who has left us any name, viz: Catholicos Komitas. 

Gregory of Narek, the most noted among these religious poets be- 
longs to the 10th century. His extant works, which are entirely devotional, 
consist of religious poems, a commentary on the Song of Songs, eulogies 
of the saints, and a prayer-book. All his writings voice fervent Christian 
sentiment, both original and forceful in style. 

The 12th century gave us St. Nerses the Gracious, whose voluminous 
works deal with theology, sacred verse, and religious music. Many 
hymns written by him are still sung in the churches of Armenia. Con- 
temporary with him, Katchatur of Taron was another distinguished writer 
of the same category. 

Armenian intellectual activity was not restricted, however, to themes 
of piety. Theologians, moralists, and scholars of all sorts were numerous 
at all times. Eznik, John Mandakuni, perhaps also David, surnamed 
The Invincible, belong to the 5th century. The last-named author was 
a commentator and translator of Aristotle. In the 8th century Anania 
of Shirak was a successful mathematician, and in the 9th, John, called 
The Philosopher, was in great repute as a moralist and theologian. 

Even deep in the Middle Ages, in the 10th and 11th centuries, Greek 
literature was not neglected, for Prince Gregory Magistros translated 

— 352 — 

some of Plato's works along with other Greek authors not yet seen in 
Armenian, in addition to which he was the author of epistles and poems 
of considerable merit. 

In the 12th century Nerses of Lampron was a theologian and moralist 
of Cilicia, and a renowned orator. 

Mekhitar Goche, in the 13th century, the author of much esteemed 
compendiums, was a well-known jurist, and drew up the Armenian Code. 
John of Erzenga, a moralist, theologian, and poet, was also a distinguished 
grammarian. Constable Sempad, already mentioned, wrote in this same 
period a summary and commentary in demotic Armenian of Mekhitar 
Goche's Code and that of Byzantium, together with a translation of the 
Assizes of Antioch. Alishan used this translation into Armenian to pro- 
duce a French version of the Assizes, which is most valuable as the ori- 
ginal text is now lost. The works of Sempad, as also those of the physician 
Mekhitar of Her, are written in demotic Armenian, and are the earliest 
specimens of works of a serious nature in the language of the people. 
Mekhitar of Her wrote on medicine. 

The above are the outstanding representatives of Armenian classical 
literature, but alongside of these learned works of the higher stratum of 
society, there existed another literature in the language of the people, un- 
restricted by the austerity of religion and voicing in its native purity the 
feelings and tastes of the Armenian nation. This poetry sprang from 
the primitive folk-songs which from time immemorial till now have al- 
ways expressed the impulses of the heart in anonymous verse. 

I cannot do better, to depict this form of Armenian 

SECULAR poetry, than quote A. Tchobanian's eulogy of it. In 

POETRY several of his works he has revealed to the world the beauty 

of this literature which hitherto had never been suspected 

in Europe. 

"The poetry of Armenia shows, in its form, some of the characteris- 
"tics peculiar to the whole Eastern world. It, also, found birth under the 
"dazzling sky of ancient Asia. But running through this Oriental im- 
"press, even through these general features of Eastern culture, Armenian 
"poetry along with all other branches of Armenian art makes us con- 
"scious of a deep-seated kinship, an innermost connection with the art 
"of our western lands. 

"There is comparatively more restraint, more clarity, and purity 
"of expression, in Armenian art than in the complex and sensuous art 

— 353 — 

"of most other peoples, especially that of the eastern Moslems." The 
reason is that the Armenian soul is Aryan and responds to that breath of 
heaven it received at its birth, for the flame that burns within it is that 
same flame which gave the Hellenes both Phoebus and the Muses. 

"The poetry of the people has blossomed forth in nature's school, 
"and nature pervades and rules it. Nature is not merely scenery for 
"these poems, it is a leading figure in them; it is the confidant, the friend, 
"who suffers and rejoices with man. A deep tenderness inheres in this 
"poetry and is felt; even pain therein is freed of its sharpness, and be its 
"sound soft or strong, it is never strident, never hateful. 

"These songs are usually composed by achoughs or wandering bards, 
"but often the people themselves improvise them. The womenfolk share 
"conspicuously In these compositions, and the finest village songs of 
"Kobh in Russia Armenia come from the young girls of that loc- 
"ality. Especially in the town of Eghlne in Turkish Armenia, the wo- 
"men are celebrated for their poetical talent."(l) 

Does not this evoke the very same picture as that which we have 
always conceived of the earliest poetry of the Greeks? Homer singing 
on his lyre of his ancestors' prowess, maidens playing in grove or meadow, 
dancing around a trunk-hewn image of Ceres or Eros, chanting to the 
beneficent deities their Ingenuous poems redolent with nature and the 
joy of living. Thus they sang to the springs and the murmuring brooks, 
to the flowery pastures and the dark forests, to the rustic courts of good 
old King Saturn. Armenia has happily preserved this ancestral poetical 
spirit so fast disappearing from our own countryside. 

How can foreign influence stand against such spontaneous expres- 
sion of a people's soul? Their language is the same as of old except for 
a few adaptations to present needs; it retains its main purity because it 
is unconstrained, echoing only the feelings of unpretentious hearts. 

This poetry of the people is of all categories, including love-songs, 
lullabies, childrens' rhymes, playful or satirical couplets, prayers, dirges, 
dancing and holiday songs, marriage hymns, rhymed tales, historical and 
national ballads, exiles' laments, and various other songs glorifying nature 
or harvest, apostrophizing the birds or the seasons or depicting the scenes 
of daily life. 

There are also popular epics of which the finest is undoubtedly that 

(1) A. TCHOBANIAN, Le Peuple armenien, son passe, sa culture, son avenir. 
Paris, 1913. p. 21 sq. 

— 354 — 

of David the Man of Sassoun, the great athlete who with his herculean 
strength tamed lions and tigers, killed the tyrant Mesramelik, and de- 
livered his native city from the oppressor's yoke. 

The Troubadour poetry of the Middle Ages is 
ARMENIAN essentially one with the nameless folk-songs of the 

TROUBADOURS period except that it is more chaste in expression, 
more scholarly and more personal in its nature. 

"The poems of the Armenian troubadours fall into two main cate- 
"gories. First, those composed by professional minstrels, which have the 
"most character. Their sparse resemblances to Persian poetry are super- 
"ficial only; most of the more recent troubadours had some acquaintance 
"with Moslem popular poetry and borrowed a few constructions and 
"images of thought together with a few forms of prosody, but they re- 
"tain their own fundamental individuality. They have, moreover, en- 
"riched Moslem folk-song with more than they received from it. Most 
"Armenian troubadours likewise composed songs in Turkish, Persian, or 
"Kurdish. Some of the most famous singers of popular Turkish and 
"Kurdish songs were, and still are, Armenians, who undoubtedly have 
"imparted to Moslem poetry something of their national temperament 
"and also of their Christian spirit. Among the minstrels of olden time, 
"however, we find no trace whatever of imitation of foreign poetry from 
"any source; their sole fount of inspiration was the native and instinctive 
"poetry of the Armenian folk-song. 

"The second category consists of Armenian poems written in the 
"language and grace of the troubadour by scholars and authors, many 
"of them members of the clergy. 

"To this branch belong the greatest number, preserved chiefly in 
"the manuscripts we possess. The professional troubadors were un- 
"doubtedly the forerunners of these scholarly imitators, but the works 
"of the latter being put into writing have come down to us, whereas the 
"spontaneous and original poems of the street-singers prior to the 14th 
"century have been lost, not having been saved from oblivion by writers 
"or copyists. (1)" 

Among the troubadours whose names are known to us from trans- 
lations, the most renowned are: Ghazar of Sebaste, Kerope, Channes, 
Sa'iat-Nova, Djivani, and — the most original of all — Nahabed Koutchak, 

(DA. TCHOBANIAN, Les Trouveres armeniens, Paris, 1906, p. 12 sq. 

— 355 — 

who was born probably in the 15th century and has left us a long series 
of small poems, mostly quatrains, the majority of them delightful love- 

Among the poetically-minded clergy who composed in imitation of 
the troubadours, we must mention Constantine of Erzenga, Frik, Hov- 
hannes of Telgouran, Gregory of Akhtamar, all of whose colorful and 
refreshing verses exhibit at the same time much altitude of thought and 

The above brief summary is ample proof that from the 5th to the 
14th century, notwithstanding the terrible struggles in which they were 
ever involved for their very existence, the Armenians never dropped out 
of the world's scientific and literary movement. In the monasteries free- 
dom of the mind still found expression even amid the nameless terrors 
without. The whole world was in great turmoil during those centuries 
of barbarism, but in the western lands, in Byzantium, and among the 
Arabs and Persians, there were nevertheless comparatively long periods 
of calm such as the Armenians never knew. The Armenian people must 
certainly have been possessed of unusual strength of character for them 
to have kept their hold on spiritual and cultural subjects In the very 
center of Western Asia, a veritable furnace throughout the Middle Ages. 

Following both the fall of Ani and the departure 
MODERN of the last sovereign of New Armenia Into exile, the 

ARMENIAN nation finding itself subjected to the most cruel op- 
LITERATURE pression sent away its sons to settle in many a foreign 
land, and these expatriates took with them their love 
for their native tongue and literature. New centers of culture were thus 
formed, whereas in the enslaved homeland the pursuit of letters was 
restricted to the monasteries and a few privileged homes. Armenian lit- 
erature was already abundant, however, and persecution only made the 
works of the past all the more highly treasured. The Armenians con- 
sequently looked up to their writers as being the champions of their 
national independence. There came about as a result a number of in- 
dependent literary centers with little or no interconnection, but all working 
along the same lines, so that their endeavors as a whole never lost their 
homogeneous character. 

Nevertheless the distance from one another of these same centers, 
and their differing environments, did have considerable influence on their 
trend of development. 

— 356 — 

At Moscow and Tiflis, the spirit of Russia oriented the exiles, and 
the influence of German literature so widespread in the Czar's empire 
was likewise felt. At Constantinople and Smyrna, where there was a 
higher level of scholarship than in the homeland, the Armenians came 
into contact with Europeans and maintained greater intellectual inde- 
pendence, and the same was the case at Venice and Vienna and in all 
the great western centers where the cultured in mind found every oppor- 
tunity and freedom of thought. At Etchmiadzin and the other monas- 
teries of Armenia the men of letters had to live to themselves and feed 
mainly on their nation's past, not taking so large a part in the general 
literary movement. In all the above-mentioned foreign centers, the pre- 
dominant element of literary education was that of French authors. 

Gradually the new literature spread everywhere and comprised all 
branches of expression: the theater, the novel, the epic, and the epigram, 
all appeared in the Armenian tongue. Historical, archaeological, philo- 
logical, philosophical, sociological, and scientific works were added to Ar- 
menian bibliography, while the political press also began to promote 
the aspirations of the nation. All these endeavors under the influence of 
all manner of teachers, but mainly French, grew rapidly and resulted in 
literary achievements wherein the spirit of Armenia, albeit in evolution, 
retained its distinctive character. 

Owing to the innumerable difficulties the Armenians encountered in 
striving to keep up with the general advancement of thought of the civil- 
ized world, their progress in the various centers was dissimilar. Con- 
stantinople, Etchmiadzin, Moscow, Tiflis, St. Lazarus at Venice, and the 
Armenian monastery at Vienna were for many years in the fore of the 
movement; of these Venice for a considerable time was the leading center. 
There in the city of the Doges, the Mekhitarists found not only freedom 
to express their thought in writing, but also hospitable hosts, along with 
the inexhaustible resources of the western world for men of science and 
letters. For these reasons, St. Lazarus during the 18th century and the 
first half of the 19th was preeminetnly the intellectual center of the Ar- 
menian people. 

The teaching at St. Lazarus included the study of the best ancient 
and modern authors whom the Mekhitarists specialized in translating. 
It turned out scholars often of the highest merit, men who went out into 
the world to impart to the various Armenian colonies the spirit and ex- 
quisite taste of the Graeco-Latin writers. Many of them became eminent 

— 357 — 

in the literary world and achieved positions of distinction in Armenia's 
national life. 

From the 17th century onward a veritable revival of Armenian 
literature took place. The first writers of this period, chiefly at Venice, 
used classical Armenian, whilst those in Russia and Turkey endeavored 
to raise the spoken tongue to the rank of a literary medium. Their ef- 
forts, though at first timid, were crowned with success, among Russian 
Armenians about the middle of the 19th century, and among those in 
Turkey some twenty or thirty years later. This movement had been 
foreseen by Mekhitar, the founder of St. Lazarus, for in his lifetime he 
composed a tentative grammar of the modern language. The printing- 
press and the appearance of reviews and periodicals of all kinds was of 
great assistance in bringing about this change, by making foreign and 
Armenian works known to the masses and reaching the people instead 
of merely the scholars. The great questions of national freedom which 
rightly stirred all Armenians could not be treated in archaic language. 
At Tiflis, Moscow, Constantinople, all the centers where the minds of 
the people needed to be reached, classical Armenian was relegated to the 
role of a learned language meant only for the Church and a literary elite. 

The works and writings in Armenian from the 17th century to our 
time are innumerable, and they are of infinite variety as regards subject- 
matter. I cannot list them, therefore, any more than I could those of 
classical times. I will just mention the most noted writers in each branch 
of literature, and am sorry I have not space for even a brief analysis 
of their respective works. 

The name of Mekhitar, the founder of the Congregation of St. Lazarus 
at Venice has remained famous, not only in the Armenian nation but 
throughout the world. To Mekhitar, whose many works were written in 
classical Armenian, we are indebted for his admirable action in creating 
this center responsible for a galaxy of scholars and men of letters. Among 
the pupils of this great school were: Tchamtchian and his History of Ar- 
menia; Indjidjian and his archaeological treatises, also his Geography 
of Ancient Armenia; Aucher, who wrote theological works and biographies 
of the Saints; Arsene Bagratuni, and Eduard Hurmuz, translators of 
Homer, Virgil, Sophocles, Milton, Racine, Voltaire, Alfieri, and Fenelon's 
Telemachus. Bagratuni wrote a great epic poem on the struggle of Haik 
with Bel the Giant, and Hurmuz an imitation of the Georgics entitled "The 
Gardens." This all shows how desirous the St. Lazarus Institute was to 
associate Armenian thought with the great development of literary progress 

— 358 — 

in the world. Alishan, the natural scientist, geographer, and historian, 
in 1850 adapted modern scientific methods to the study of Armenia. He 
was primarily a poet and his works, partly in classical, partly in modern 
Armenian, earned him merited distinction. He was followed by scholars 
like Father Basil Sarghissian and men of letters such as Arsene Gasikian 
who continued in demotic Armenian the classical work of Bagratuni, and 
translated from the great ancient and modern poets; N. Andrikian, S. 
Eremian, Garabed-Der-Sahakian — the poet and historian who gave us 
a history of the Armenian Byzantine emperors; and many others. 

At Vienna the Mekhitarists sent out mainly scholars and scientists, 
but the novelist Sahak Tornian was also among them. Katerdjian and 
Karakachian are historians who were educated there, while another pupil 
A'idman wrote his analytical grammar of modern Armenian, and in his 
wake Dachian, Kalemkiar, Menevkhan, and Akinian became renowned 
philologists and linguists. 

In the meanwhile, the Armenians in Russia were also active. From 
the very beginning of the 19th century they were conspicuous in Armenian 
literature, and this intellectual revival greatly expanded when in 1828 the 
Czar came into possession of the countries north of the river Araxes and 
eastern Armenia began to enjoy security. From that time on the Ar- 
menians were able to progress freely in the field of intellectual labor. 

Katchatour Abovian (1804-1848), a writer of fables and novels, was 
born at Dorpat. Chiefly under the influence of Armenian national tradition 
and folklore, he was the first author of that period to write his works in 
the demotic language. He must be considered as the founder of the 
new literature among the Russian Armenians, and he raised it to the 
front rank by his epic and realistic novel. The Wounds of Armenia, in 
which he gives a poignant picture of the sufferings of his fellow-countrymen 
mcludlng himself under the heel of the Moslems, both Persian and Turkish. 
He was followed by Prochiantz who wrote a long series of popular novels; 
then by Mikael Nalbandian, Stepanos Nazarian, and Chahazizian, all 
of whom by their poems and articles in recently started magazines helped 
to arouse in the Armenians not only their taste for literature but their 
patriotic feelings and hopes 

The poet Kamar Katiba, the novelist Raffi, the news commentator 

— 359 — 

and essayist Gregory Artzruni, each in turn contributed to this revival, 
and were in their day among the leaders of Armenian literature in Russia. 
These writers exercised great influence on the awakening of the whole 
nation. Their work was carried on by novelists such as Mouratsan, Chir- 
vanzade, Leo; by short story-writers like Aghaian, Papasian, H. Ara- 
kelian — playrights, including Soundoukian, Chirvanzade, Leon Chanth, 
— by the lyrical prose-writer Avetik Aharonian who depicted the sufferings 
of Armenia both under the tyrannical Abdul-Hamid and after that bloody 
despot's downfall — and also by Hovannes Toumanian, the best of the 
epic poets of Russia. Likewise the poets Hovhannes Hovhanessian, Avetik 
Issahakian. A. Tsatourian, Vahan Terian, Madame Kourghinian, all of 
whom produced excellent verse; the historian Arakel Babakhanian {Leo), 
the philologists Chalatianz, Emine, Patkanian, S. Malkhasian; the eth- 
nologist Lalayan; Barkhoudarian who translated Goethe and Schiller, 
Ohannes Khan Massehian who gave his people a splendid version of Shake- 
speare's chief masterpieces; scholars such as Carapet Ter-Mkrtchiantz, 
Garekin Hovsepian, Galoust Ter-Mkrtchiantz, Mesrop Ter-Movsessiant^; 
Komitas, the musician, with others of the Congregation of Etchmiadzin. 

In Turkey, the Armenian literary impetus was not long in producing 
works of note. Constantinople from Byzantine times had a large Ar- 
menian colony, and literary light had never been extinguished there, but 

with few exceptions Armenian lit- 
erature on the Bosphorus was al- 
most all of it greatly influenced by 
Latin standards, especially Italian 
and French. However, there were 
a few writers who remained purely 
Armenian, for instance, Monsignor 
Khrimian, an orator, author, and 
a public-spirited man who ever 
preached patriotism to his people. 
He left numerous works both in 
prose and verse. Also Servantzt- 
diantz, the author of folklore stories 
and word-pictures of Armenian life; 
Devkantz, known for his novel, 
breathing love of country; in Si- 
beria, Chahen; Hrand Telgadintsi, 



and Zartarian all of whom depict the lives of their compatriots in im- 
pressive language. 

The two last-named writers, together with the author Zohrab and 
the poet and essayist Ardashes Haroutiounian, were deported to an un- 
known destination, and it is to be feared that they shared the fate of their 
distinguished colleague Zohrab who was murdered during the deportations. 

The tirst great Armenian newspaper, the Ararat Dawn, appeared in 
Smyrna in 1840, and from then on newspaper writers acquired considerable 
prestige in Turkey. Tchilinguirtan, Osganian, Gosdanian, and Mamourian 
are those chiefly remembered; the last-named translated some of the 
best works of western literature, and thus made his fellow-countrymen 
familiar with the literary progress of France, Italy, England and Germany. 

Deroyentz, Utudjian, Zordian, Odian, Missakian, Bechiktachelian, 
Hekimian, Tersian, and Adjemian, several of whom were former students 
of the Mekhitarists at Venice, acquired a reputation in the press through 
their articles on varied subjects, and also in the writing of plays and 
poems. Bechiktachelian and Tersian, along with their contemporaries 
Bedros Tourian and Archbishop Khoen Narbey were the best lyric poets 
of the period, while Dzerentz and Madame Dussap were also distinguished 

The satire or epigram was also well represented by Haroutioun Se- 
vadjian, its pioneer, and by Baronian, another pastmaster of the art. 

It would take very long to mention all the Armenian authors who 
have written of late years on all kinds of subjects, which are today dealt 
with in Armenian literature in the demotic language, often by men and 
women of outstanding merit. I will mention just the poets Setian, Aladame 
Sibille, Mezarentz, Tekeian; the authors Demirdjibachian, Berberian, 
Tcheraz, Arpiarian, Tcherakian, Mrmrian, Zohrab, Pachalian, Zarian, 
Gamsa>ragan, Tigran Yergat, V. Savadjian, M. Gurdjian^ S. Bartevian, 
Alonsignor Mouchegh Seropian, Madame Marie Sevadjian, Madame Zabel 
Essaian, Madame Anais, the humorist Yervant Odian, the scholars Norayr 
Puzantatsi, Monsignor Ormanian, Monsignor Elisha Tourian, Monsignor 
Papken Gulesserian, Karnig Fundiiklian, Tiriakin, Adjarian, K. H. Bas- 
madjian, Toromanian, etc. I would recall also Daniel Varoujan and Adorn 
Yarjanian who were great poets that sang of Armenia's sufferings and 
struggles. They were deported along with so many of their fellow-coun- 

— 361 — 

trymen; it is feared that they succumbed to Turkish cruelty in the visitation 
of 1896. 

I must mention finally the poet A. Tchobanian who is so well known 
for his writings in French in which he has made us acquainted with lit- 
erary Armenia and has pleaded so fervently the cause of his nation. He 
has composed splendid poetry and his extensive Armenian work has earned 
for him considerable and well-earned renown among his compatriots. 

The foregoing pages give an idea of the great impetus that Armenian 
literature has had for the last hundred years, and show that all branches of 
human thought are included in its wide cultural development, and that 
it is still going forward in the pursuit of knowledge that has generally 
but little appeal for Eastern peoples. 

Armenia today is In the same position linguistically as was France 
in the days of langue d'oc and langue d'o'il. One branch of Its language, 
that in Russia, is based on the dialect of the Ararat region, whereas 
Turkish Armenian has for its foundation the speech of Lesser Armenia 
(Armenia Minor) and New Armenia (Cillcia). The latter form Is des- 
cended from the Armenian of the Middle Ages, whilst the former is more 
dialectal, more mixed with foreign words and expressions, and Its gram- 
mar contains more Iranian Infiltrations. As for the vocabulary, the Tur- 
kish Is purer and more classical than the Russian, which on the other hand 
is more demotic and Intermingled with foreign terms. In Turkey, es- 
pecially In Constantinople, writers have turned to the French language 
as their standard In giving Armenian its modern polish and form, but 
in Russia German literature rather has prevailed In that direction. 

Before closing this chapter on the Armenian language, it may be 
helpful to add a few words on versification. 

The few fragments of heathen poems and 

ARMENIAN the earliest specimens of religious poetry that 

VERSIFICATION have been preserved to us are In blank verse, 

without metre or rhyme, but nevertheless rhyth- 
mical and adapted to song. Such are most of the church hymns, and 
this mode continued until about the 10th century. Then there began 
under Arab Influence a metrical and rhymed versification that was ex- 
pressed In a great variety of forms. Verses were of 15, 12, 11, 10, 9, 8, 
7 etc. syllables composed of 4, 3, and 2 hemlstlchs, but in the longest 
verses the caesuras are always numerous. All the troubadour poetry Is 

— 362 — 

metrical and rhymed, just as are modern poems, but the latter amplify 
their peculiarly national features with a few innovations from Europ- 
ean verse-making. Consequently we have extremely varied versification. 
The blank verse of olden times has been revived in our day by Arsene 
Bagratuni and other poets. 

As we have seen above, Armenian authors from 
THE SCIENCES earliest times have included men of science, and 
this is once more the case in these modern times of 
general advance in knowledge among all civilized nations. In our pres- 
ent period a number of Armenian scientists both among their own people 
and abroad have won distinction either by their achievements or their 
teaching. Medical publications which appeared as early as the 12th 
century, are very numerous from the 17th to the 20th century. Among 
them, I may mention the works of the physician Amirdovlat (17th cen- 
tury), the medical dictionary of Dr. Resten (end of the 18th century), the 
writings of Physica Boghos, still in MS form, dating from the early 19th 
century and dealing with physical and chemical science. As for political 
economy and the exact sciences, they were long taught in the Ottoman 
schools by such Armenian professors as Hovsep Youssoufian, Mikael 
Portoukal Pasha, Hovhannes Sakiz Pasha, etc. Some Armenian scientists 
have achieved distinction also in European circles; there are a number of 
Armenian professors in the universities of Europe and America, and some 
of these scientists and scholars have made names for themselves by their 
writings and discoveries. 


— 363 — 

In this brief review of Armenian intellectual progress, 
PRINTING we must not forget the importance of the press and the 

growth of printing. 

It was in the Venetian republic, always so hospitable to the Ar- 
menians, that the first book in St. Mesrop's characters was printed In 
1513. An Armenian from Cilicia, named Hakob (Jacob, or James) sent 
out from a Venice printing-house a Calendar followed in 1514 by a Missal, 
an anthology of poetry, and a book on astrology. This was hardly fifty 
years after the invention of printing, long before Russia and the whole 
Eastern world adopted this means of disseminating thought, destined to 
revolutionize the world. About 1565, under the patron- 
age of Catholicos Mikael, an Armenian press was set 
up in Constantinople, and from the middle of the 17th 
century on. Increasing quantities of religious books 
were published at Venice, Marseilles, and Amsterdam. 
Etchmiadzin and Julfa-by-Isfahan followed the ex- 
ample of the western world and soon Armenian presses 
were established at Smyrna, in the Caucasus, and at 
Madras. The Mekhitharlst Congregation was founded, 
as we have seen, at the beginning of the 18th century. 
Its printing-house was set up from the outset, and when 
it opened a branch in Vienna it also started presses in 
Austria. Subsequently all great cities of the world have come to have their 
printing establishments equipped with Armenian type, and there is hardly 
a country today where a book In that language could not be turned out. 






We must remember that the Armenians were not only suffering from 
religious and literary restrictions; driven from their land by the tyranny 
of the oppressor, they thirsted for liberty, and printing gave them a means 
of disseminating their thought, of communicating with their many colonies 
scattered so far throughout the world, and enabling the various sections 
of their people to find a common ground for hopes 
for the future. The reason that the Armenians 
and the Greeks were the first two peoples of all 
the near East to start newspapers and reviews 
Is that they both were similarly situated, de- 
prived of their national Independence. 




— 364 — 

At the beginning of the 18th century, the Armenians in Calcutta, in 
the enjoyment of the freedom they were given in India, founded the first 
newspaper ever to appear in their language, viz: Aztarar (The Intelligen- 
cer). Their example was not followed by the Mekhitharlsts until the end 
of that century, when the Yeghanak Puzantian (Byzantine Season) was 
brought out in Venice. The same Congregation likewise about the middle 
of the 19th century started the publication of Pazmaveb, a highly es- 
teemed review from both the literary and documentary standpoint, which 
is still appearing today. 

About the same time, the Armenians of the Protestant faith in Con- 
stantinople brought out Chtemaran bidani kideliatz, a missionary mag- 
azine, while at Smyrna the first daily made its appearance, entitled 
Archalou'is Araradian (the Dawn of Ararat). Thereafter newspapers mul- 
tiplied, and every Armenian colony had its local press. 

At Constantinople, the great intellectual center for the Armenians, a 
great number of newspapers and reviews came out, the chief ones among 
them being: Masis (Ararat), which started as a newspaper but later be- 
came a review; Arevelk (the East), Ha'irenik (the Fatherland), Puzantion, 
Azatamart, — among the newspapers; lergrakound (the Globe), Dzahik 
(the Flower), Vosdan (the City), — among the reviews. 

Meanwhile the Armenians in Russia were also active in the same direc- 
tion. There appeared at Moscow: Hussissapdil (the Northern Dawn), a re- 
view which came out about 1850; at T\?C\s,-Krounk Ha'iots Achkharhl (the 
Crane of the Armenian Land), Ports (Endeavor), Mourtch, (The Ham- 
mer), Gords (The Work), and the daily newspapers entitled Mschak (The 
Worker), Ardzagank (The Echo), Nordar (The New Century), and Hori- 
zon, all of them published at Tiflis; Arev (The Sun) published at Baku. 
There was also an interesting ethnographic review Azgakragan Handes and 
the art periodical Gheharvest (Fine Arts). 

The newspaper Hdiastan (Armenia) published at Tiflis since the out- 
break of the present war (1914) is the organ of the refugees from Turkey. 
Andranik, the people's hero, is Its editor-in-chief. 

— 365 — 

At Etchmiadzin, the 
Ararat has been pub- 
lished for a good many- 
years. In Turkey,-there 
appeared about 1860, at 
the monastery of Varag 
near Van, Ardziv Vas- 
purakani (the Eagle of 
Vaspurakan), and at 
Mouch, Artsvik Tarono 
(The Taron Eaglet), 
both of them monthly re- 

Among the most im- 
portant of the periodicals 
in Armenia centers, we 
should mention also Han- 
des Amsorya, a monthly 
philological review of 
high repute published by 
the Mekhitharists in Vi- 

In England, the 
headquarters of the Ar- 
m e n i a n revolutionary 
Committee founded in 
London a monthly organ 
called Hentchak (The 
Handbell), and also in 
the English capital there 
has appeared for many 
years the bilingual 
French and English re- 
view entitled vAtmenia, 
published by the eminent 
patriotic writer Minas Tcheraz 

8i<uipftA.p.L|[«« Lq^ 
|^fUu^[RS«^|»^np^ail|airbVinu f 

■ ■■■■ mtmmmmmmiBammmmmmmmmammmmgt 






Several reviews appearing in Paris must likewise be mentioned: Mass- 
iatz Aghavni (the Ararat Dove), Anah'it, published by A. Tchobanian, and 
Banasser by K. J. Basmadjian; while at Marseilles we have Armenia, and 

— 366 — 

at Geneva Droschak (The Flag), the organ of the Armenian Revolutionary- 
Federation. In Egypt and in the large centers of the United States there are 
quite a number of newspapers in Armenian; but we can hardly give a com- 
plete statement of the modern Armenian press. The foregoing will at least 
show how large a place these newspapers and periodicals have in Armenian 


J htth-up nrutejp-qhuja,CLUinri^u^pnu 

iu^etTAinu ipufthrttJU u-hphrm l^nujJ 

HfjUUlSfpUf tfuUJtUJqUUUtJJU • tTU^UUpU \ 

{t^huapujjt/jitn unLtuiuAfJuJjffpnJ^ 





— 367 

national life. It is obvious, of course, that most of the Armenian literary 
men and scholars are happy to find organs in which they can publish 
their writings, and it may be mentioned that for the greater part these 
authors' works are contained in the reviews and have not yet been pub- 
lished in book form. 

Armenian cultural output is not confined, however, to literature. All 
branches of art, music, dancing, architecture, fresco and miniature painting, 
sculpture, goldsmith's work, in short all the arts and crafts represented in 
the incomparable treasures of the Middle Ages, are successfully pursued 
by Armenians today, and in many cases the talent and craftsmanship are 
maintained and developed in new forms adapted to modern times. 

"The Armenian people has from all time enjoyed the art 
MUSIC "of music, been familiar with it, loved it and practised it. With 
"or without historical foundation, tradition has it that two thous- 
"and years ago and more, their ancestors sang of the exploits of their 
"heroes to the accompaniment of instruments of which we have unfort- 
"unately but scanty information. (1)" 

Armenia certainly retains both in its liturgy and its folksongs, many 
lingering traces of this ancient music, just as in the churches of the western 
world many a strain from the old heathen times is still in use; but 
the origin of these remote tunes can no longer be traced because 
of the late dates of their recordings. In any case, the oldest Armenian music 
to which we are able to assign a definite period is that of the Middle Ages, 
which was of two very distinct categories, viz: the great storehouse of lit- 
urgical material, and the numerous folksongs, both of them unisonal. 
The first of these two forms of music is grave and mystical, the second, 
lively and distinctly peculiar to the Armenian people, although showing 
sometimes foreign influences, either Persian or Turkish. A learned mem- 
ber of the clergy at Etchmiadzin, Father Komitas, who has collected a 
large number of these melodies and harmonized some of them, was the 
first to make a competent selection from this great amount of material. 
Alexanian, a talented composer and performer living in Paris, has put 

(1) F. MACLER, La Musique en Armenie, p. 3. Paris, 1917. 

— 368 — 

these ancient tunes into use and with his profound knowledge of western 
music has obtained excellent results from them. 

Tradition has it that in the 5th century St. Sahak and St. Mesrop 
wrote the first models of sacred music which the Armenians call by the 
name of charakans. There is no certainty of this, but we do know that 
those two bishops had successors whose names are definitely recorded and 
whose compositions have been preserved to modern times. The most 
famous are Hohan Mandakuni, the sister of Vahan of Golthn (martyred 
April 18th, 737), Stepanos of Sunik, Katchature Vardapet of Tar on, St. 
Nerses the Gracious, etc. 

Regarding the troubadours, we have already seen what a large part 
they played in the literature of the people. They were not only poets, but 
talented musicians who composed new melodies or else maintained the 
ancient music by oral transmission. When copying the poems of some 
of these troubadours, such as those of Koutchak for instance, the copy- 
ists were always careful, moreover, to state on their manuscripts that the 
songs were composed on the "Armenian mode." 

These achoughs, or wandering bards, were not satisfied with singing 
within the confines of enslaved Armenia whose national life they thus 
helped keep up, but they also went abroad into Turkey proper, into 
Persia, Georgia, and Kurdistan, where they exhibited their talent to the 
Moslems, and sang their verses in foreign tongues following the musical 
modes of the country they were in. Armenian musicians and singers are 
known to have been in high repute at the courts of the Sultans and the 
Shahs, also at those of the Georgian kings and the most powerful of the 
Kurdish chieftains. 

Modern Armenian music has kept pace with general development in 
this field. Composers and performers have become more and more num- 
erous since the early 19th century, and foreign works not only were included 
in the Armenian repertory, but they added their technical progress to the 
expanding output of national melodies. Even though adopting the various 
musical schools and styles prevailing abroad, the Armenians have suc- 
ceeded in keeping to their own national traditional modes of expression. 
Very talented composers, such as Alexanian already mentioned, have 
been able, sometimes with national themes for their basis, to create a 

— 369 — 

modern Armenian music combining scientific excellence with an individual- 
ity of its own equal to that of the medieval bards. Alexanian, moreover, 
had for his forerunners in this modern field Ecmalian, Komitas, Spendiar- 
ian, Tigranian, Proff-Kalfatan, and Mirza'iants. 

The strides made in literature and music must nec- 
THE STAGE essarily have their counterpart in theatrical progress, and 
such was the case about the middle of the 19th century. 
In ancient times the Armenians, along with the Greeks of the Asiatic 
mainland, were great lovers of the stage. Artavazd, the son of Tigranes, as 
we have seen, composed tragedies, and the Arsacid court had its theaters, 
for example the one at Tigranocerta. These plays were only in Greek, how- 
ever, for no writer ever mentions the use of any native language on the 
stage in those days. 

With the arrival of Christianity, love of the stage disappeared almost 
everywhere throughout western Asia, and religious ceremonies and popular 
festivals were the chief features of daily life. Armenia never even had our 
western mystery plays, and not until modern times did there spring up an 
Armenian stage, due to the influence of Europe. Constantinople and Tiflis 
were the scenes of the first attempts in this direction, and the Armenian 
theaters in those cities blossomed forth on diversified lines; foreign plays 
were given in Armenian, together with original ones written in the native 
tongue, Furthermore, a European theater in the Turkish language was 
inaugurated at about the same time by Armenians also; they either trans- 
lated western plays or composed entirely new Eastern ones. Both in Ar- 
menian and Turkish, the Armenian actors, men and women, achieved dis- 
tinction through their perfect interpretation along every line. Adamian, an 
Armenian Salvini, made a name for himself by his Shakespearean reper- 
tory; Rechtuni and Abelian were noted for comedy; Touriantz was a de- 
lightful comedian, and among other talented players were Madame Hrat- 
chia and Madame Siranouche. About the same period Tchouhadjian, 
who had studied his art in Italy, introduced theatrical music, for both the 
Armenian stage and the Turkish. 

For indications of taste for sculpture among 

ARCHITECTURE & the Armenians we have only the Christian period 

SCULPTURE to guide us, and even there the specimens we 

possess do not belong to the early days of con- 

— 370 — 

version. We have no relics of the transitional times between heathendom 
and Christendom such as exist at Rome, in Italy and Greece. The Armen- 
ian shrines that survived the disasters of war and earthquake date from 
several centuries later than those built by Gregory the Illuminator. 

Conflicting influences have always been at work in Armenia. Achae- 
menian styles of architecture, derived from Chaldaean and Assyrian modes, 
prevailed in western Asia when the Armenians arrived on the political 
icene, but Alexander the Great's ensuing conquests spread Greek styles 
everywhere, and these were reverenced by the Seleucids and the Arsacid 
Parthians. At the time the Armenians were converted to Christianity, the 
Sassanids ascended the throne of Persia, and they brought great changes 
in Iranian tastes. It is therefore altogether likely that heathen architecture 
in Armenia was Hellenic until the end of the third century. The only 
structural remains of this period of which we have any knowledge, un- 
fortunately, are those of the palace of Tiridates at Garni; and the pictures 
we possess of It are hardly reliable, for the early Christians destroyed such 
buildings to their very foundations, and erected their churches on the 
sites. Systematic excavations among the ruins of Artaxata, Tigranocerta, 
Nisibus, Achtichat, and other large pagan cities of the Armenians, if un- 
dertaken, would reveal at least the plans of the vanished structures, but no 
such research has yet been attempted. 

The statues that disappeared with the advent of Christianity were 
much esteemed in Armenia in pagan times, for historians often tell us 
of images of deities made of wood, stone, brass, or even gold. According 
to all our available texts these statues were entirely confined to the gods. 
Apparently, however, Greek and Roman liking for images of high per- 
sonages penetrated to Armenia along with western Influences generally, 
and their sovereigns came to have their statues similar to those of the 
great men of Greece or the emperors of Rome. The statue of Tiridates we 
possess was executed In the west and for the west, and is consequently no 
criterion In this connection. 

We have seen how predominant Greek literary influence was in Ar- 
menia at the time of its conversion to Christianity. Rome and the Empire 
were still heathen, and the churches of the early Christians, both Greek 
and Latin, were very roughly designed without any of the later beauty 
of the first cathedral churches. In fact they were merely chapels built on 

— 371 — 

pagan lines, adapted to the needs of the new religion and with symbolic 
paintings on the walls. Persecuted in every direction as they were, the 
Christians were still obliged to remain hidden and to conduct their worship 
out of sight both of the crowd and of the Roman officials. These precautions 
were considerably relaxed, however, in the second century — especially in 
Syria and the other Asiatic provinces. Prior to Armenia's official conversion, 
the Christian religion was already prevalent throughout the Roman 
East, and it had early reached the Ararat country — only it dared not yet 
come out into the open. Church-building was still out of the question. 

The priests who preached the gospel In Armenia brought with them 
from Syria not only the new religion but also the Syriac liturgy and plans 
for organizing the new clergy. Undoubtedly they received from their 
teachers Instructions how to lay out their places of worship, and the first 
churches In the Ararat region were built on Syrian lines. 

Zenobius of Glak (1) writes as 
follows regarding the building of the 
first Christian edifice at Taron at 
the order of St. Gregory: "When 
"the soldiers had destroyed the Idol 
"(of Demetrl), St. Gregory laid 
"the foundations for a church. 
"There being no materials available 
"locally, he took rough stones, and 
"having discovered lime in the 
"heathen temple, he began the 
"building of a church on the site of 
"the shrine of Demetrl, following 
"the same measurements." 

From these lines we may pre- 
sume that the first churches in 
Armenia were built approximately 
along the same lines as the pagan 
edifices, but we have no positive 
documentary evidence regarding either. 




(1) Transl. V. Langlois, vol. II, p. 348. 

— 372 

Emperor Constantine's con- 
version, a few years only after 
that of King Tiridates, was revo- 
lutionary in its effects on the 
world not only from the moral 
standpoint but also that of archi- 
tectural development throughout 
the Empire. Everywhere, in 
every big city, town, and village, 
churches sprang up. They were 
sometimes of the basilica type 
like St. Sophia or St. Irene at 
Constantinople, or round or oc- 
tagonal buildings such as the 
Church of the Holy Apostles at 
Byzantium, the rotunda of St. 
Constance at Rome, the Church 
of the Ascension on the Mount of 
Olives at Jerusalem, or the great octagonal Church of Antioch, the oldest 
example of this style of edifice.(l) The Emperor encouraged the building 
of religious institutions, and gave liberally from his treasury to the 



(1) Cf. Ch DIEHL, Man. d'art byzantin, p. 3. 

— 373 — 

Christians. The large edifices that were built on his orders and at his ex- 
pense became architectural patterns throughout the Christian world. 

By reason of its geographical loca- 
tion, Armenia at an early date was in a 
specially conspicuous position. Having 
considerable intercourse with Syria, 
Mesopotamia, and Persia, she natur- 
ally derived much useful instruction 
from these countries. On the other 
hand, her close political relations with 
Byzantium subjected her to Greek in- 
fluence. A number of the patriarchs at 
the head of the Armenian church from 
the 5th to the 7th century had been 
brought up in Byzantine territory, and 
Justinian's architects, moreover, had 


built quite a few edifices in various 
districts of Armenia that could be 
taken for models. From these two 
contacts, Greece and the East, 
there arose in the 7th century a 
style of architecture in Armenia 
that was interesting and original. 
This style is comparatively little 
known as yet, not having been 
adequately studied. Many un- 
solved questions confront us re- 
garding it, but those who have 
examined Armenian constructions 
are aware that this nation's build- 
ers were outstanding craftsmen 
who, living as they did in an es- 
sentially rocky country, brought 
the art of stone-cutting to an un- 
usually high pitch of excellence. 

The Cathedral of Etchmiadzin built, it is said, in the Sth century 
and restored in the 7th, is apparently as regards its design one of the 

(1) Ch. DIEHL, op. laud., p. 315. 






» V ^ «> ;^ ■■.' ^"~ 


— 375 — 

oldest churches in Armenia. This design is quite original, being in the 
general form of a Greek cross with a central cupola. It seems to have 
been built on the model of Sassanid structures. The Church of St. Ripsime 
at Valarapat, dating also from the 7th century, shows the same design, but 
k roofed in a sixteen-sided cupola of conical shape, used from very re- 
mote times in the East. This structural design was copied by the west 
about the 10th century and probably was the guiding influence in the 
building of the churches of Mount Athos in Greece. 

Likewise in the 7th century, Catholicos Nerses III (640-666) built 
not far from Etchmiadzin the church of St. Gregory the Illuminator 

(Zvarnots). This church, now in 
ruins, is an immense round tower 128 
feet in diameter, surmounted by a 
cupola upheld by four enormous sup- 
ports. The outline of this edifice is 
clearly Byzantine, including the capit- 
als which were apparently carved by 
Greek sculptors. According to Sebeos, 
the above prelate was "reared from 
'■'ArMJt childhood in the land of the Greeks." 
The plan of the ruins reminds one 
strikingly of the church of the Holy 
Apostles at Byzantium. 


"Were the ancient structures of Armenia built along Byzantine archi- 
tectural patterns, or was it Armenia that taught Byzantium?" is a question 
asked by M. Ch. Diehl. My opinion is that both suppositions are war- 
ranted, for Greek modes of construction apparently underwent altera- 
ations at the hands of the Armenians influenced in turn by their neighbors 
and frequently by their Persian Sassanid rulers. These very changes 
which were governed by discriminating taste were destined later to furnish 
architects of the western world with fresh inspiration in their profession. 

Long before it came into use in the West, the arch was known to the 

— 376 — 

peoples of Asia. It Is found 
in Egypt dating from the 
first dynasties, sometimes 
even with a fair amount of 
amplification (1). The 
structures of Nineveh like- 
wise show numerous ex- 
amples of the cupola. The 
Sassanids were consequent- 
ly only carrying on their 
ancestral tradition in using 
these modes of architecture. 
(2) They seem, however, 
to have added the corner 
pendentive to join the 
spring of the cupola with 
main edifices of square de- 
sign; (3) and because of 
using materials of small and 
uneven size (4) they were 
led to build raised elliptic 
arches, with or without 
framed sofiits, (5) from 
which later sprang the 
Gothic arch. At the same 

time they attached much importance to decoration, and according to the an- 
cient custom of their country, they were very fond of polychromy. These 


(1) e.g. at Dahchur, along with others of the 12th dynasty. 

(2) Servistan, Firuzabad. 

(3) Palace of Chosroes II at Kasr-e-Chirin. 

(4) Smooth pebbles. Palaces of Kas-e-Chirin, Haouch-Konri, Rumichkhan, 
Chirvan, Derrei-Chahr, ets. Cf. J. DE MORGAN, Mission en Perse, Etudes archeo' 

(5) In the Sassanid buildings (Kasr-e-Chirin, Haouch-Koari. Derre-i-Chahr, 
Chirvan, etc.) there can still be seen on the lower surface of the arches the mark 
left in the plaster by the wooden support of the soffit. 

— 377 — 

notions of art superimposed on those of Greece and Rome were largely 
responsible for the creations of the Byzantine schools, and if architectural 
taste on the Bosphorus was influenced by the Orient, such must have been 
even more the case in Armenia which was nearer to the Sassanid Empire 
and frequently under its rule. 

Among none of the peoples of ancient times who reached to high 
levels of architecture, whether Egypt, Assyria, Chaldea, Greece, or Italy, 
did the disasters encountered in the course of the centuries ever wipe out 
all vestiges of their structures; and past grandeurs are evidenced by num- 


378 — 

erous and imposing ruins. Unfortunately this is not so in the regions of 
Armenia, nor in the north of western Asia from the river Halys to the 
eastern borders of Iran. In the absence of any remains worthy of note, 
we must incline to the opinion that the different peoples inhabiting those 
parts did not undertake any very extensive building, and that, notwith- 
standing the statements of native writers, it was Christianity and Byzantine 
influence which caused the development of architectural art among the 
Armenians. The churches built in profusion, as soon as the new re- 
ligion was established, in every town 
and village were undoubtedly erected 
along western lines, even though they 
included useful borrowings from Persia. 
History tells us furthermore that the 
sumptuous sacred edifices built by Con- 
stantine in the Holy Land were objects f.i|iitl!?S'i'-ic!^'Jrf^o3S^ 
of marvel because of their splendor and Vr at i; ^rrny i inffl i i -ii T , imua ..iii ffl ii i .. «« i'.a« 
originality, and that they were at once 
adopted as models for Christendom's 
basilicas. Some writers, however, con- 
sider that the Greek-cross type of 

church, of which Etchmiadzin ca- 
thedral is a very early specimen, 
formed by adding four semi-circular 
apses to the square Persian con- 
struction, is of purely Armenian 
origin. We consider this thesis dis- 





(Stone carving at Ani) 

The churches of Ani, dating 
from the Bagratid period, are all 
likewise very instructive as re- 
gards their designs. Most of them 

— 379 

are cross-shaped, but others, e.g. the Chapel of St. 
Gregory, are octagonal with a conical dome over a 
round tower upheld by columns which in turn are 
separated by semi-circular recesses. 

One chapel, near the citadel of the Bagratid capital, 
shows a square door with a flat moulding, the orna- 
mentation of which in some respects recalls pagan Greek 
or possibly Achaemenean times, whereas the eastern 
fagade of the Church of the Apostles, built before 1348, 
is purely Moslem in style, and the basements of the 
Castle of Ani are clearly Sassanid both in their ground 
and structural outlines. 

As can be seen, Armenian builders were guided 
not by any set purpose of copying western models, but 
by a wish to enrich their structures with both Byzan- 
tine and Eastern standards of taste. 


When they came under Moslem sway, the Ar- 
menians were influenced by the architectural and decor- 
ative ideas of their rulers. Thus we see the gate of 
the palace of Ani surmounted by a semi-circular arch 
with Moslem ornamentation, whilst the window above this gate is og^val 
in shape. But these transformations of a structure, which was originally 
Byzantine and was ruined by the Arabs and the Seljuks, and restored 
under Manouchar, the son of Abul-Sevar, the first Moslem prince of Ani, 
were carried out at the time they were rebuilding the city's mosque, it- 
self a western-style construction. 

In Armenian churches, the capitals are nearly all of clear Byzantine 
type, e.g. at Etchmiadzin and at Ani, also at Khoscha Vank where the 
porch has columns and capitals which would not be out of place in a 
Roman building of the 3rd or 4th century. 

— 380 — 

The ornamentation, carved along Byzantine lines, shows nevertheless 
some peculiarities of detail. We must remember that the Sassanid decor- 
ators largely used cut-out plaster-work (1) and that the Moguls (2), 
the Arabs, and the Turks carried forward the Persian tradition. It is 
easy to understand, therefore, how oriental influence invaded the Ar- 
menians' style and altered somewhat their Byzantine patterns. 

Even the tombstones with their carvings are Byzantine in conception. 
They are very numerous in the burial-grounds of Armenia, and but for 
their inscriptions might easily be taken for Coptic or Syrian funerary 
steles of the same period. 

I must hold to the same opinion as regards both 
FRESCOES mural paintings and manuscript ornamentation. Byzan- 
AND ICONS ^jj^g Christian art adopted its wall decoration from the 
ancient technical processes of Rome and Syria, adapting 
it to the needs of the new religion. Taken altogether, Byzantine fresco 
paintings and mosaics are entirely homogeneous, and any variations ac- 
cording to diflFerent periods or localities are only minor changes due to 
temporary or provincial preferences, with slight efi'ect on the primal con- 
ception. Armenian paintings, like those of Egypt and the Neo-Byzantine 
mosaics of Russia, all derive from the same decorative methods. 

The same is the case with icons; whether Greek. Russian, Georgian, 
or Armenian, they all show the same motifs, they are all similarly treated 
and express the same spirit. Any diflFerences among these pictures are 
due only to varying trends of schools, variations that are always minimized 
by strict rules of tradition. 

The illumination of manuscripts offers more 

MANUSCRIPT variety because the artists gave freer rein to their 

ILLUMINATION imagination and were not above introducing popular 

scenes into their work, giving the latter a realistic 

(1) Qal'ai-Hazar-dar at Derre-i-Chahr, Kasr-e-Chirin, etc. 

(2) Mosque of Hamadan. 

— 381 — 


touch with little concern for flagrant anachronisms. 

This great latitude in the illumination of manuscripts was general 
throughout the Middle-Ages, and it is as common in eastern MSS. as in 
western. It is peculiar to each country and faithfully portrays local tastes. 
In Armenia, not only were popular scenes and legendary monsters de- 
picted, but also foreign subject-matters, and designs suggested by Persian 
and Arab illuminators are constantly met with. These latter themselves 
sometimes originated much farther east, so that Armenian miniature- 

382 — 

(Wooden carving in the Treasure CARVED DOOR AT THE MONASTERY 
House at Etchmiadzin) OF SEVAN 

painting has quite a special character. But religious subjects are all 
wrought on Byzantine patterns, just as are our western books of the 
romanesque period. 

The library at Etchmiadzin is very rich in ancient manuscripts, and 
includes therefore a complete collection of these methods of illuminating. 
Comparing the various works one can easily follow the development of 
Armenian style both from within and from outside influences. From the 
outset there is seen a tendency to copy faithfully the Byzantine, and then 
gradually imagination creeps into the works and subjects are left to the 
illuminator's discretion. The growth of this local talent reached its zenith 
in the time of the Rupenians. As for religious subjects, they became in 

— 383 

time more and more hieratic, quite the contrary of what took place in the 
west where drawings became increasingly realistic and reached their peak 
of elegance in our incomparable manuscripts of the Renaissance. 

This freedom in the choice of details is also seen, but to a much lesser 
degree, in the carved motifs of church ornamentation. There too, the 
sculptors have sometimes given free rein to fancy, but they have always 
maintained the general lines of Byzantine style. We must not, however, 
forget to mention a very curious and handsome church at Akhtamar, on an 
island of Lake Van, where the walls are covered with carved relief repre- 
sentations of Christ, the Virgin, the Saints, and also animals and fanciful 


I yji.iM'JUiiMMii^i'Ji^'lJQ'j'iiyj:^^^^'^ 


subjects. Looking at these singular carvings, one cannot help thinking of 
the rock-carved bas-reliefs of the Chaldeans, the Assyrians, and the 
Hittites. This church, built in Greek-cross shape according to Byzantine 
rules, dates from the first quarter of the 10th century. Thousand-year 

— 384 


(Armenian iconography 

taken from Alishan) 

old traditions of ornamentation seem to have 
been preserved on its walls. 

There is practically nothing left us of the 
civil architecture of the Armenians prior to 
the taking of Ani by the Seljuks. There is 
every reason to believe, however, that it like- 
wise was Byzantine and Persian in conception. 
As for military construction the walls of Ani 
seem to show the same architecture as that used 
by the Byzantines and the Sassanids, and even 
all Mediterranean countries at that time. The 
only difference is in the abundant ornamenta- 
tion and the unusual selection and arrangement of the 
material used. Although they are very massive, the 
fortifications of Ani are quite elegant and are a hand- 
some spectacle. 

There exists unfortunately no successions of 
coins of Greater Armenia subsequent to the series 
of entirely Greek-style coins minted contemporan- 
eously by the Syrian Seleucids and the Persian Ar- 
sacids. This hiatus is much to be regretted, not only on 
account of the value of numismatics in confirming his- 
tory, but also because coins would have given accurate 
information as to the prevalent trends in art of each 
successive period, from the advent of the Sassanid rul- 
ers in Iran down to the downfall of the Bagratid dy- 
nasty. Lacking any Armenian coins for the period 
referred to, we must fall back on those we have of 
the Georgian rulers who were so often mixed up in the 
affairs of Armenia and whose territory in the Kurah 
valley was subjected to almost the same vicissitudes 
as the northern and eastern provinces of Armenia. 

About A.D. 575, the Georgian eristhaws, who were 
GEORGIAN fighting the Persians then holding almost all Trans- 
COINS caucasia, coined money similar to that of the last Sas- 

sanid kings Hormidas IV, Chosroes II, etc. Byzantine 
influence was considerably on the wane at that time in this part of Asia. 
Following this comes a break of four centuries in the numismatics of 
Karthli (Georgia), a break coincident with the Arab conquest, the arrival 

(Miniature paint- 
ing on a MS. writ- 
ten for King 
Hetum II) 

— 385 

of the Seljuks, and the wars that convulsed Transcaucasia. David, the 
ruler of Taiq, late in the 10th century struck a foUis of the current Byzan- 
tine style, and Bagrat IV (the adversary of the Turk Alp-Arslan), 
Georgi II (1072-1089), and Korike (1046-1082?), king of Armenian Al- 
bania, all minted similar coins of the Byzantine type. David II, surnamed 
The Restorer, then struck aspers with obverse stamped similarly to money 
of the Empire of Trebizond, and 
reverse reading in Arabic charac- 
ters: "King of Kings Daoud son 
of Giorgi: the Sword of the 
Messiah." Dimitri (1125-1154), 
however, was obliged to have his 
coins bear the names of the Arab 
ruler Al Moktafy and Mahmoud, 
the Seljuk Sultan of Persia. 

Giorgi III (1154-1184) who 


seized from the lurks the cities 

of Ani, Etchmiadzin, Dovin, Gandzak, 
and a large part of Armenia, issued 
coins of uncommon appearance, as did 
also his daughter, Queen Thamar, but 
both these Georgian sovereigns struck 
practically at the same time lother 
money that was mixed Byzantine and 

Roussoudan (1223-1247), Tha- 
mar's daughter, copied Byzantine coin- 
age, and her son David V issued imitations of 
that of the Comneni of Trebizond. The Mon- 
gols had just extended their rule over Georgia 
and Armenia, however, so that coins of the 
same David V (1243-1269), of Dimitri II 
(1273-1289), David VI (1292-1310) and Wakh- 
tang III (1301-1307) all carry, in Mogul or 
Arabic characters, the names of the Khans their 
suzerains. Under Bagrat (1360-1395), aspers 
similar to those of the Comneni reappear, as 

they did also under Giorgi VIII (1452-1469). After that, there were no 
further issues of Georgian coins until the time of Russian occupation. 



— 386 — 

Such a checkered history, as can be imagined, greatly handicapped 
and disturbed the progress of art in Transcaucasia. The influences at 
play were most varied. As Christians, the Georgians and Armenians 
naturally inclined towards Constantinople and Trebizond, and close re- 
lations were maintained with the Empire, but in innumerable ways they 
were none the less thrown back on themselves. 


In Cilicia, under the Rupenians and the 
Lusignans, all the coinage was of Latin charac- 
ter. Latin influence penetrated everywhere, 
including civil and religious architecture which 
in New Armenia showed a curious mixture of 
Byzantine and Gothic. The Rupenian build- 
ings consequently differ considerably from the 
medieval structures of Greater Armenia. 

The well-known architect Toramanian, 
who has studied Armenia's antiquities for very 
many years, considers that his country has a 
national art which he divides into four cycles. 
The last of these cycles, one of com- 
parative distinction, lasted from the 13th to 
the 14th century when Armenia was fast dis- 
integrating politically. I cannot adopt his 
views in this connection, my own opinion being 
that Armenian art is an offshoot of Byzantine 
art. It is true that it developed along lines 
somewhat its own and was subjected to foreign 
influence, but it always adhered more or less 
closely to the standards of Constantinople. 

Byzantine art, like that of the Greeks 
and Romans, took on especially in Asia 
and Africa a very characteristic provin- 
cial complexion. The Roman sculptural 
remains of Egypt are a striking example. 
These essentially local tastes have been 
conspicuous in Armenia almost down to 
the present day. The same is the case 
with Russia where Byzantine art devel- 
oped along quite special lines, both in 




— 388 


architecture and sculpture, as also in 

I would be the last to wish to deny 
the Armenians some originality in their 
architecture. They adapted Byzantine art 
to their own preferences, and made skill- 
ful use of what they learned from their 
Persian neighbors, but Armenian art 
must, I consider, be looked on as a branch 
of Byzantine, in the same manner as the 
Coptic, the Rumanian, and the Russian. 

From our knowledge of the goldsmith's 
INDUSTRIAL ARTS work, the weaving of cloth and carpets, em- 
broidery, and other branches, of Armenian 
craftsmanship, this people stands out as proficient in those minor arts, 
at any rate since the Middle Ages. Today they may be safely said to be 
almost the only people in the Turkish empire engaged in fine artistic 

The libraries and churches of the East all contain triptychs, icons, 
bookbindings, sacred vessels, reliquaries, church vestments, and tapestries, 
rugs, and fabrics of Armenian workmanship, and among them all it is easy 
to pick out those expressing native culture (mostly Byzantine) and those 
fashioned or woven along Moslem lines, the latter having been wrought 
presumably for Turkish or Persian patrons. 

At Constantinople, Smyrna, Trebizond, Teheran, Hamadan, Tabriz, 
Erzerum, Erivan, Tiflls and nearly all the northern centers of western 
Asia, jewelry and goldsmith's work is produced in the "Armenistan", or 
Armenian quarter, of each city while Inside the Armenian homes the 
womenfolk weave and embroider rugs, carpets, and the like, which go out 
into the world including European centers where both commercial houses 
and the general public are under the impression they are Moslem work- 
manship. The Armenians put their individual native stamp on what they 
produce for themselves, and, naturally enough, meet the customer's prefer- 
ences as regards the remainder placed on sale. These industrious people 
have always shown themselves assiduous and progressive artisans, and 
we can be sure that numbers of the goldsmiths and engravers who worked 
for the Byzantine emperors were Armenians. 

— 389 — 

In the higher sphere of architecture, Armenians likewise have played 
an important part in the East. It is known that the architect Tiridates, 
who built so many of the Ani churches, restored the magnificent cupola of 
St. Sophia at Constantinople, which was originally constructed by the 
Greek architects Anthemius of Tralles and Isidorus of Miletus, and which 
collapsed during the earthquake that struck the city in A.D. 989. This 
new cupola, which we still admire, is in the form of an elliptical 
arch, and, built of light material, is still cited today as an outstanding 
model, in classes dealing with the stonecutter's art. Tiridates had a large 
number of emulators in the Byzantine empire. 

Furthermore, the Arabs, Turks, and Mongols, — who were incompetent 
themselves to build the fine structures which we mistakenly ascribe to 
them and whereon weie inscribed in gold the names of their Caliphs, 
Sultans, or Khans, — entrusted to Christians the task of immortalizing 
their great men. According to the different countries, Greeks, Syrians, and 
Armenians were the master-builders throughout western Asia and as far 
east as India, with the one exception of Persia. In the latter country 
the Iranian traditional skill handed down from their great architects of 
old had been preserved. 

Love of art has never died out among the Armenians, whether 
as applied to their own requirements or as exercised in working for their 
Moslem rulers, and in every branch of it which they have maintained 
since the Middle Ages they have retained their preeminence of old. Until 
the 18th century, they clung to their ancient styles of work imposed on 
them by tradition or necessity, but with the 19th century an era of progress 
opened up for them, and as the case with their literature and music, they 
launched out into fresh modes of expression under Europe's influence. 
Architects, painters, and sculptors, all subscribed to the western schools, 
received instruction in Art's larger unfoldment, and kept pace with its 
forward movement. 

In the 18th century, Stepanos of Poland, an Armenian painter, exe- 
cuted for the monastery of Etchmladzin some paintings in which the 
Italian school predominates. 

Since the early nineteenth century, a whole generation of workers 
have striven with success to assimilate European standards in sculpture, 
painting, engraving, and dancing. Yervant Osgan, a talented sculptor, 
has for many years been the Director of the Ottoman School of Fine Arts 
at Constantinople, and many Armenian names are to be seen on the roll 
of our leading European artists, e.g. Aivazovsky, the best Russian marine 

— 390 — 

painter, Edgar Chahine, whose paintings and etchings are known to every- 
one in Paris, Zakarian and his still-life productions, Mahokian and 
Chabanian, marine artists, landscape-painters such as Alhasian of Paris, 
Bachindjaghian and Thadevossian of Tiflis, Terlemesian of Van, Surian of 
Moscow, and many more, without forgetting the many young pupils of 
our western Art schools whose future is still ahead of them. 

Dancing, formerly restricted to folk-dancing, and 
DANCING ever popular throughout the countryside, has acquired 
social standing and increasing vogue in the salon as also 
on the stage, where recent performances of Mile. Armene Ohanian have 
been acclaimed by the Paris public, appreciative of her charming and 
graceful adaptations of the Terpsichorean art. 

* * * 

— 391 — 


Events in Armenia subsequent to the fall of the 
Czar in Russia (1917-1918). 

While this book was in the press, grave events in Russia have thrown 
turmoil into Eastern affairs and once more caused the Armenian people 
to weep, inflicting on them one of the most frightful crises in history. 

Ever mindful of Peter the Great's testament to his successors, the 
Czars aimed at the possession of Constantinople and the Straits. Finding 
themselves blocked of late years in their attempts to reach the shores of 
the Bosphorus via Europe, the Bulgarians and the Rumanians having 
been freed from Turkish rule and secured national independence, Russian 
diplomacy was seeking to achieve its purpose by way of Asia, and as a 
step toward the century-old goal of the Romanoffs, it coveted Turkish 
Armenia and Anatolia. From 1914 on, Russian armies in Asia strove to 
that end, in furtherance of which France, England, and Italy gave 
Petrograd a free hand. Under the conviction that German military power 
was invincible, the Young Turks confident of Berlin's victory were Im- 
prudent enough to declare war on the Entente, a step which threw open 
the door to the Russian generals and gave the subjugated Christians of 
Turkey the opportunity to rise and assert their freedom. 

But although the Armenians had openly espoused the cause of 
Germany's enemies, Petrograd did not see eye to eye with Tiflis and 
Erzerum. Russia did not intend to grant political liberty to Armenia, 
whose liberal and home-rule notions were in high Czarist circles looked 
on as dangerous to the Imperial regime and the Romanoff dynasty. 
Furthermore an independent Armenia would have blocked the road to the 
Straits via Asia Minor, just as Rumania and Bulgaria by gaining national 
freedom had closed the way through Thrace. The Armenians were con- 
sidered, therefore, from the Russian Government's standpoint, as future 
subjects of the Czar, just as the many other subject peoples of that 
Empire. This prospect, although not the one nearest to right and justice, 
had at least the merit of delivering the Armenians from Turkish tyranny, 

— 392 — 

and the Russian rule was looked on as a stepping-stone to further later 
developments. The progress achieved by their people in the Russian Trans- 
caucasian provinces, despite their relative unpopularity there, encouraged 
them to look forward self-reliantly to their national future. Conscious of 
their own energy, they felt that the above outlook was only temporary and 
that changes would occur after the war. Anyone with perspicacity could 
see that the Russian empire, seriously affected by its agrarian and social 
difficulties and ill-supported by a decadent government, must inevitably 
undergo a very severe crisis as the outcome of which the causes of the 
various nationalities would come to the fore, for they were bound to be 
upheld by the western democracies. It was felt also on the other hand 
that the Czar's government, to save itself, would be forced to grant large 
concessions. In view of all this, Armenia's future despite the uncertainty 
seemed auspicious. 

The Russian troops had already seized the majority of the Turkish 
vilayets of Armenia. Erzerum, Van, Mouch, Erzindjan, Baibourt, and 
Trebizond had all just been snatched from the infamous Turkish rule, 
when at the beginning of the year 1917 there ensued the frightful catas- 
trophe of the Russian revolution. 

Petrograd's foreign policy thereupon entered on a new phase, that of 
defeatism. Imperial trends, i.e. desire for conquest, gave way abruptly 
to the abandonment of centuries of tradition. Peter the Great's testament 
was torn up, and at Berlin's orders, the new Government in Germany's 
pay, forsaking all Russian views concerning Constantinople, gave up any 
interest in Asia. As a matter of form, it did enunciate the principle of the 
liberation of oppressed peoples (the guiding principle of the Entente 
against the Central Powers), but this lip-service, too lofty to maintain 
the Russian masses, soon gave way to the crass selfishness and greed of 
the new masters in Petrograd. Their pious utterance remained just words 
and soon were flagrantly contradicted by the frenzied acts of those who 
seized power with Germany's aid. 

The Russian debacle was not long in assuming incredible proportions; 
its extent was vividly brought out in the treaty of Brest-Litowsk, where 
the lawless Soviet government abjectly surrendered to Berlin's imperious 
orders. From then on, amid the most terrible disorders, the various peo- 
ples felt abandoned, isolated; each nationality, thrown back on its own 
resources and home forces, imagined it could save itself from the tempest 
by proclaiming its independence. An ephemeral republic was formed in 
Transcaucasia composed of Armenians, Georgians, and Tartars, but this 

— 393 — 

political amalgam had no possibility of lasting. The Moslem Tartars had 
hated the Armenians for centuries, and serious dissensions had recently 
cropped up between the Moslems and the Georgians. The result was that 
the Tartars espoused the cause of Islam and took sides with the Turks 
against their allies of the day before. As for the Georgians, they took 
part in the defense of Transcaucasia against the Ottomans, but then for- 
sook the Armenians who were left to face the enemy alone. 

The Soviet Government, however, though ready for any act of be- 
trayal, thought it might be to its interest to have it believed that it en- 
tertained liberal views regarding the freedom of oppressed nations, and 
therefore on January 13th, 1918, the following Decree was published in 

"The Council of Commissaries of the People declares to the Armenian 
"people that the Government of Workers and Peasants of Russia upholds 
"the right of the Armenians in Turkish Armenia occupied by Russia to 
"make free choice of country and even to choose independence. The 
"Council of Commissaries considers that this right may be realized by 
"drawing up a list of preliminary guarantees, which are absolutely re- 
"quisite for a referendum on the part of the Armenian people. The Council 
"of Commissaries recognizes the following conditions to be partial guar- 
"antees to this end: 

ART. I. — Evacuation of Armenia by the Russian troops and Immediate 
"formation of an army of Armenian militia In order to guarantee the 
"safety of the lives and property of the inhabitants of Turkish Armenia. 

ART. II. — Return to Armenia, without hindrance, of the Armenian 
"fugitives, as well as of the Armenian emigrants dispersed In different 

ART. III. — Return to Armenia, without hindrance, of the Armen- 
"lans driven out by force during the war by the Turkish authorities into 
"the Interior of Turkey. The Council of Commissaries will insist on this 
"condition in the peace negotiations with the Turkish delegates. 

ART. IV. — An Armenian provisional government will be created in 
"Turkish Armenia in the form of a Council of Delegates of the Armenian 
"people, elected on a democratic basis. Stepan Chahoumanlan, who has 
"been appointed provisional Commissary Extraordinary for Cau- 

— 394 — 

"caslan affairs, is entrusted with the task of giving all assistance to the 
"inhabitants of Turkish Armenia for carrying out Articles II and III, 
"and for the creation of a mixed commission, in order to appoint a date for 
"and means of evacuation of the Russian troops in accordance with Art. I. 
"The geographical frontiers of Turkish Armenia will be determined by the 
"representatives of the Armenian people elected according to democratic 
"procedure in agreement with the Moslem and other inhabitants of the 
"border provinces in dispute, also with Commissary Chahoumanian." 

This monstrous document recognized the right of the Armenians to 
live and govern themselves, but imposed on them an anarchic form of 
government, i.e. one contrary to the interests of the Armenian nation whose 
capitalists were one of their chief sources of strength, and it handed over 
the organization of an incipient State to the will of the ignorant masses. 
It proclaimed, moreover, the Soviets' intention to withdraw the Russian 
troops from Turkish Armenia and to abandon that country consequently 
to the fury of the Ottomans who would not forgive the Armenians for 
having sided with the Entente armies. This was the basest treason, the 
vilest crime imaginable, and the Bolshevists cynically added that they 
expected to enter into negotiations with the Turks who had not yet even 
been consulted regarding the future of the Christian vilayets about to be 
surrendered to them. The People's Commissaries merely gave a vague 
promise that they would seek to negotiate. 

It meant delivering up Armenia to new massacres, to slavery even 
more frightful than that endured by the unhappy country for so many cen- 
turies. How indeed could the Armenian people struggle to any purpose 
against the Sultan's armies aided by the Kurdish tribes and led by German 
officers ? 

That was but the beginning of Bolshevist infamy, for two months after 
the above disgraceful decree was issued, the Maximalist government signed 
(in March 1918) the shameful treaty of Brest-Litowsk giving up Russia to 
Germany, and Armenia and Transcaucasia to Turkey. Not satisfied with 
undoing with one stroke of the pen the whole work achieved by the Grand 
Duke's army in Asia and thus abandoning the Christians of Turkish Ar- 
menia to their tormentors, they actually added at the dictation of the 
German and Turkish plenipotentiaries an even more despicable paragraph, 
one sacrificing former Russian territories peopled with Christians and 
throwing the door to the Transcaucasian provinces wide open. 

— 395 ~ 

This shameful capitulation reads, Art. IV.: 

"Russia will do all in her power to ensure the rapid evacuation of 
"the eastern provinces of Anatolia and their restoration to Turkey. Arda- 
"han, Kars, and Batum will be evacuated without delay by the Russian 

The name of Armenia even is no longer mentioned in this enemy- 
dictated text; instead we read "eastern provinces of Anatolia." It is equival- 
ent to saying that the Armenian people do not exist; they are officially 
handed over to the hatred of their former rulers. Thus the Bolsheviks 
denied the most sacred rights of humanity and trampled on their own 
professed principles. 

The blow was a terrible one for the Armenians, for not only were 
the vilayets to be re-invaded, but the evacuation of Batum, Ardahan, and 
Kars insisted on by the Turks showed beyond doubt that they expected 
at least the Ottoman reoccupation of their districts lost in the war of 1878. 
They even went so far in Constantinople as to say that "the natural 
boundary of the Ottoman Empire is the Greater Caucasus chain." 

Confronted with such a menace, the Armenians resolved to defend 
their homes to the death, and they therefore armed themselves while the 
Russian troops were evacuating Ottoman territory and the western districts 
of Russian Armenia. But of what avail were a handful of brave men 
against the Turkish armies? The fight began in April. Trebizond fell, as 
also did Erzlndjan despite the desperate resistance put up by five thousand 
Armenian volunteers defending the latter city; then Erzerum, Mouch, 
Van, in turn were the scenes of stubborn battles which sometimes ended 



— 396 — 

successfully for the Armenians. These local successes did not affect the 
outcome, however, and gradually the battle turned to the north, to the 
former Russian provinces. 

Batum had just been captured by the Turks from the Georgians, and 
the victors had besieged Kars, were by-passing that city and laying waste 
the regions of the Lesser Caucasus, when the Georgians forsook the com- 
mon Christian cause and started negotiations with the enemy. The Armen- 
ians themselves had to be satisfied with a tiny portion of their country, in 
the region of Erivan and Lake Sevan. There they formed a small republic, 
pending better days. These latter seem to be drawing near, now that Brit- 
ain has intervened in northern Persia and has gone so far as to seize 
Baku for the present in her intention of closing the way to India, — and 
now that great events are occurring in the west. Meanwhile, small Armen- 
ian forces are still fiercely defending themselves in the mountains against 
the Tartars, for the struggle is still far from finished. 

By occupying Baku, the important Caspian port, Britain secured a 
most vital point on the transcontinental route to India but her intervention 
would have meant so much more had she given assistance a few months 
before to the Armenians, who were then still in considerable numbers. 
The Transcaucasian natural stronghold would have been secured, intercept- 
ing communications between Turkey and the eastern Moslems, — Tartar, 
Turkish, Azerbaidjanian, and Turcoman. 

As I have already said, the historian is not entitled to speak of the 
future. Whatever the outcome of this merciless war between the Armenian 
nation and its oppressors, the memory of this struggle will remain one of 
the finest pages in the annals of the Haikian people. Her steadfastness, 
courage, and nameless woes have earned Armenia a glorious niche in the 
record of the World War, 

-^ * * 

397 — 


(Armenian Iconography, from Alishan) 

— 398 






1. Haik, 2350 B.C. 



2. Armenak 



3. Armai's 




4. Amassia 





5. Guegham 






6. Harma 






7. Aram 




8. Ara the Handsome 

?s ^ 




9. Ara Araian, or 





) c^ 



10. Anouchavan 




11. Paret 




12. Arbak 




13. Zavan 



14. Pharnas 




15. Sour 

1— 1 



16. Havanak 



17. Vachtak 





18. Haikak I 
















Haikak II 



Erouand I 



Tigranes I 






















(None of the above dates should be given undue consideration.) 

(1) We are indebted for this appendix VOrient chretien. Vol. XIX, 1914. My 

entirely to the fine work by K. J. 
Basmadjian, Chronologie de THistoire 
de I'Armenie, published in the Revue de 

only contribution to it is the data we 
have on events prior to the 4th century 

— 401 


Earliest times. 



1250 B.C 

1000 (?) 










330-315 (?) 

Arrival of the Armeno-Phrygians in Thrace ^ . 
Crossing of the Bosphonis by the Armeno-Phrygians 
Settlement of the Armeno-Phrygians in Phrygia 
The Armenians separate from the Phrygians 
Occupation of the Ararat region 
Median rule (Cyaxares) ... 

Achaemenian rule of Persia 
Macedonian rule (?) . 


1. Phraataphernes or Neoptolemy seizes Armenia, 323 B.C. 

2. Orontes I Hrant or Ervand, 322-301. 

3. Ardoates or Artavazd, 301. 

4. Artabazanes or Artavaz, 239-220 (?). 

5. Orontes II, 220 (?)-215 (?). 


Dynasty of Artaxias 

1. Artaxias or Artashes I, 190-159 (?) B.C. 

2. Artavazd L 159 (?)-149. 

3. Tigranes I. 149-123. 

4. Artavazd II or Artoadistus, 123-94. 

5. Tigranes II The Great, 94-54. 

6. Artavazd III, 56-34. 

7. Alexander, 34-31. 

8. Artashes II. 30-20. 

9. Tigranes IH, 20-12. 

10. Tigranes IV ) j2.5 B.C. and A.D. 2-1. 

11. Erato 3 

12. Artavazd IV, 5-2 B.C. 

Foreign Dynasty 

1. Ariobarzanes, Median, A.D. 2. 

2. Artavazd V, Median, 2-11. 

3. Tigranes V, Jewish, 11-14. 
Erato (again). 14-15. 

4. Vonones, (Parthian), 16-17. 

— 402 — 

5. Artashes III or Zeno, Roman, 18-34. 

6. Arsaces or Archak I, Parthian, 34-35. 

7. Mithidrates, Georgian, 35-37 and 47-51. 

8. Rhadamistus, Georgian, 51-53. 

Armenian Absacids 

1. Tiridates I, 53-59 and 66-100. 

2. Tigranes VI, 60-62. 

3. Exedares, 100-113. 

4. Parthamasiris, 113-114. 

5. Parthamaspates, 116-117. 

6. Vologeses or Vagharch I, 117-140. 

7. Sohemus, 140-162 and 163-178. 

8. Pacorus, 162-163. 

9. Sanatrnces, 178-216. 

10. Vologeses or Vagharch II, 178-217. 

11. Tiridates II or Chosroes I the Great, 217-238. 
End of the Parthian Kingdom, 226. 

Rule of the Sassanids, 238-250, 252-261 ,272-282 and 294-298. 

12. Tiridates III, A.D. 250-252, 283-294, and 298-330. 

13. Artavazd VI, 252-261. 
Palmyrian rule, 261-272. 

14. Chosroes II the Younger, 331-339. 

15. Tiran, 340-350. 

16. Arsaces or Archak II, 351-367. 

17. Pap 369-374. 

18. Varazdat, 374-378. 

19. Arsaces or Archak III, 378-386. 

20. Vagharchak, 378-386. 

21. Chosroes III, 386-392 and 414415. 

Division of Armenia between the Romans and the Sassanids, A.D. 317. 

22. Vramchapouh, 392-414. 

Invention of the Armenian alphabet, A.D. 414, 

23. Sapor or Chapouh, 416-420. /,^ 

24. Artashes IV. 423-429. ^ ^ 

Marzpans or Governors-General 

1. Vehmihrchapouh, Persian, 430-438. 

2. Vassak Suni, Armenian, 438-451. 

Vardan the Great, died 451 (great battle of Avarair). 

3. Atrormizd, Armeno-Persian, 451-465. 

4. Atrvechnasp, Persian, 465-481. 

(1) As regards the above lists, consiilt: hungen zwischen Armenien und Rom, 

F. JvsTi, Iranisches Namenbuch,MaT\mrg Venice, 1911; J. Marquart, Philologus, 

1895: E. Babelon, Les Rois de Syrie, Gottingen, 1896; K. J. Basmadjian, The 

d'Armenie et de Commagene, Paris, 1890; True History of Armenia (in Armenian), 

H. AsTURiAN, Die politischen Bezie- Constantinople, 1914. 

— 403 — 

5. Sahak Bagratuni, Armenian, 481-482. 

6. Chapouh Mibranian, Persian, 483484. 

7. Andekan, Persian, 484483* 

8. Vahan Mamikonian, Armenian, 485-505. 

9. Yard Mamikonian, Armenian, 505-509. 


10. X. Nikhorakan, Persian, 548-552 (?). 

11. Vechnasp Bahram, Persian, 552-554 (?). 

12. n«nchapouh, Persian, 554-560 (?). 

13. Varazdat, Persian, 560-564 (?). 

14. Suren, Persian, 564 (?)-572. 

Vardan V Mam,ikonian, Armenian general, 572-578. 

15. Vardan Vechnasp, Persian, 572-573. 

16. Colon Mihrah, Persian, 573. 

17. Philippus, Lord of Snnik, Armenian, 573-578. 

18. Tam Khosrov, Persian, 578-580. 

19. Varaz Vezur, Persian, 580-581. 

20. The Great Parthian Generalissimo, Persian, 581-588. 

21. Frahat, Persian, 588. 

22. Frartin Datan, Persian, 588-590. 

23. Vendatakan Nikhorakan, Persian, 591-?. 

24. Merakbout, Persian, 594-598. 

25. Yazden, Persian, 598-600. 

26. Boudmah, Persian, 600 (?)-604. 

27. Foyiman, Persian, A.D. 604-608. 

28. Ashtat Yeztainr. Pprsian, 608-610. 

29. Chahen, Persian, 611-612. 

30. Chahrai'anpet, Persian, 612-613. 

31. Parseanpet Parchenazdat, Persian, 613-?. 

32. Namgarun Chonazp, Persian, 616-619 (?). 

33. Chahraplakan, Persian, 620-624 (?). 

34. Tchrotch or Rotch Vehan, Persian, 624 (?)-627 

35. Varaztirotz Bagratuni, Armenian, 628-634. 
Fall of the Persian Empire, A.D. 652. 

Governors-General of Byzantine Armenia 

1. John the Patrician, Armenian, 591. 

2. Heraclius, general, Armenian, father of Emperor Heraclius I, 594. 

3. Suren, general, Persian (?), 604. 


4. Mejej Gnuni, general, Armenian, 630-635. 

5. David Saharuni. Curopalatus, Armenian, 635-638. 
The Arabs break into Armenia, A.D. 636. 

6. Theodorus Rechtuni, general and patrician, Armenian, 641-646. 

7. Thomas. Byzantine (?). 640-646. 

8. Varaztirotz Bagratuni, Curopalatus. Armenian, 646-646. 

9. Sembat Varaztirotzian, Curopalatus, Armenian, 646-656 (?). 
Theodorus Rechtuni comes back, (general), Armenian, 646-653. 

10. Maurianus. general. Byzantine, 653. 

11. Hamazasn Mamikonian. Curopalatus and Patrician. Armenian, 658-661. 

12. Sembat Bagratuni Sembatian, Curopalatus, Armenian, 703-705. 



OsTiKANS OR Governors-General (i) 

1. Theodorus Rechtuni, Armenian, 654-658, 

2. Mouchegh Mamikonian, Armenian, 658-660. 

3. Grigor Mamikonian, Armenian, 661-685. 


(1) To complete the list of Arab gov- 
ernors of Armenia from Armenian 
sources, we give the following roll of 
the same period as taken by K. J. Bas- 
MADjiAN from Arabic writers such as 
Al-Belasdori, Tabari, Ibn-Khaldun, Ibn- 
Al-Athir, etc. The numbers in brackets 
preceded by = refer to the correspond- 
ing name on the Armenian list. 

1. Abd-er-Rahman, 636 (?)-644. 

2. Welid, son of Oqba, 644-?, 

3. Hozeifa ? under Othman, 644-656. 

4. Moghira, son of Choba, ? under 


5. Qacim (= 7 ?) son] 

of Rabia or Amrj- 
son of Moawiya J 

6. El-Oqaxli ? under Othman. 

7. Achath, son of Qais ? under Ali, 


8. Habib, son of Maslama, died 663 

under Moawiya L 660-680. 

9. Abd- Allah (= 6 ?) son of Hatim 

?-? under Moawiya I. 

10. Abd-el-Aziz (= 8) son of Hatim 

?-? under Moawiya I. 

11. Othman, son of Welid, ?-?, under 

Abd-elMelik, 685-705. 

12. Mohammed I, son of Merwan, broth- 

er of Abd-el-Melik, 692-700 (?) 
and 704-710 (?), died 719. 

13. Abou-Cheikh, son of Abd-AUah, 701- 


14. Maslama I, brother of Welid, 710-? 

15. Adi. son of Adi, or Hatim, son of 

Noman, ?-?, under Soleiman, 715- 

16. Milaq, son of Isafar Behrani, ?-?, 

under Yezid II, 720-724. 

17. Harith, son of Amr, ?-?, under Yezid 


18. Djerrah, son of Abd-Allah Hakami, 

723-725 and 730. 

19. Maslama II, son of Abd-el-Melik, 


20. Said I el-Harichi (= 9), 730-732. 

21. Merwan (= 10), 732-744. 

22. Thabit, 744, 

23. Ishaq (= son of Moslim), 744-749, 

24. Abou-Djafar el-Mansur, 749-753. 

25. Yezid I (:= 12), son of es-Seyyid 

Selami, 753-? 

26. Hassan (=: 14), son of Qahtaba, ?-?, 

under Mansur, 754-775. 
37, Othman (=: 16), son of Omara, ?-?, 
under Mohammed el-Mahdi, 775- 

28. Raouh (= 17), son of Hatim, ?-?, 

under Mohammed el-Mahdi. 

29. Khozeima (= 18), son of Khazim, 

?-?, under Moussa el-Hadi, 785-786, 

30. Yezid II (= 19), son of Mezyed, 

?-?, under Harun-er-Raschid, 786- 

31. Obeid-Allah, son of Mahdi, ?-?, un- 

der Harun-er-Raschid. 

32. Fadi. son of Yahya, 792-? 

33. Sa'i'd II, son of Salim, ?-?, under 


34. Mohammed II, son of Yezid, ?-?, 

under Mohammed el-Emin?, 809- 

35. Khalil, son of Yezid, ?-?, under Ab- 

dallah el-Mamoun, 813-833. 

36. Haider, son of Kaous, ?-?. under 

Mohammed-el-Motecim, 833-842. 


under Harun-el-W athiq, 842-847. 

37. Yussuf (= 26), son of Mohammed, 

849-856 (?) 

38. Bogha, 856 (?)-? 

— 405 — 

Rule of the Khazars, A.D. 685. 

4. Ashot Bagratuni, Armenian, 685-688. 

5. Sembat Bagratuni Sembatian, 688-703. 
Mohammed, Arab general. 

6. Abd-Allah, Arab, 703-705. 

7. Qacim, Arab, 705-706. 

8. Abd-el-Aziz, Arab, 706-730. 

9. Seth Karachi, Arab, 730-732. 

10. Meruan, Arab, 732-744. 

Ashot Bagratuni, Armenian Patrician. 

11. Ishaq, Arab, 745-750. 

Grigor Mamikonian, Armenian general. 
Mouchegh Mamikonian, Armenian general. 

12. Yezid I, Arab, 751-760 (?). 

Sahak Bagratuni, Armenian general. 

13. Bekr, ^ra6, 760 (?)-761 (?). 

14. Hassan, ^ra6, 762 (?) -775. 

Sembat Bagratuni, Armenian generalissimo, died 775. 

15. Yezid II, Arab, 775-780. 

16. Othman, ^ra6, 780 (?)-785. 

Bagarat Bagratuni. Armenian generalissimo. 

17. Rob, Arab, 785. 

18. Kbazim, Arab, 785-786. 

19. Yezid III, Arab, 786-787. 

20. Abd-el-Kebir, Arab, 787. 

21. Soleiman, Arab, 787-790. 

22. Yezid IV, Arab, 790-795. 

23. Khozeima, Arab, 796-806. 

24. Hoi, Arab, 807-847. 

Sembat Bagratuni, Armenian generalissimo. 
Bagarat Bagratuni, Armenian prince of Taraun. 
Ashot Artzruni, Armenian prince of Vaspurakan. 

25. Abou-Seth, Arab, 847-851. 

26. Yussuf, Arab, 851. 

Bogha, Arab general. , . . mt> • »t 

Ashot Bagratuni Sembatian, generalissimo (856) and Armenian Prmce of 

Princes." (1). 

Dynasty of the Armenian Bacratids 

1. Ashot I, A.D. 885-890. 

2. Sembat I, 890-914. 

3. Ashot II, The Iron, 914-929. 
Ashot the Usurper, 921. 

(1) Concerning the Persian rule of nian), Vienna, 1852; K. J. Basmadjian, 

Armenia, consult: M. Portoukal, Cri- i,a Vraie Histoire cCArmenie, Constan- 

tique dElise (in Armenian), Venice, ^j j 1914^ por the period of Arab 
1903: P. GuLESSERiAN, Etude critique sur , . 

Elisi (in Armenian), Vienna, 1909; •""le' 8e«= Ghevond, History of Arme- 

Sebeos, History of Heraclius (in Ar- nia (in Armenian), St. Petersburg, 

menian), Constantinople, 1851; J. Ca- 1887; S. Assoghik, Universal History 

TERCiAN, Universal History (in Anne- (in Armenian), St. Petersburg, 1885. 

— 406 — 

4. Abas, 929-953. 

5. Ashot III, the Merciful, 953-977. 

6. Sembat II, the Conqueror, 977-989. 

7. Gaghik I, Shah-en-Shah, 989-1020. 

8. Sembat III or John Sembat, 1020-1042. 

9. Ashot IV, 1020-1042. 

10. Gaghik II, 1042-1045, (died 1079 at Cyzistra). 


of Vaspurakan (1) 

1. Khatchik ■ Ghakik, 


2. Derenik-Ashot, 943- 


3. Abussahl • Hamazasp, 


4. Ashot-Sahak, 968-990. 

5. Gourgen - Khatchik , 


6. John Senecherim, 990- 

1006, died 1026. 

7. David, at Sivas, 1027. 


8. Atom, at Sivas, 1037- 


9. Abussahl, at Sivas, 


of Kars. 

1. Mouchegh, 962-984. 

2. Abas, 984-1029. 

3. Gaghik, 1029-1064, 

died in Greece 1080. 

Kingdom of 

Armenian Albania (2) 

1. David, died 1046. 

2. Korike, or Korike, 

1046-1082 (?). 


Dynasty of the Rupenians (3) In New Armenia (Cilica) 

1. Barons. 

1. Rupen I, A.D. 1080-1095. 

2. Constantine I, 1095-1099. 

3. Thoros I, 1099-1129. Leo I, 1129-1137, died 1141 at Constantinople. 

(1) Cf, Thomas Artzruni, History [of 
the House of the Artzrunis] (in Arme- 
nian), Constantinople, 1852; S. As- 
SOGHIK, Histoire Universelle, St. Peters- 
burg, 1885; K. J. Basmadjian, The True 
History of Armenia, Constantinople, 1914. 

(2) Concerning the Bagratids, the 
kingdom of Kars, and that of Albania, 
see: M. Brosset, Histoire de la Georgie, 
St. Petersburg, 1851 ; S. Assoghik, His- 
toire Universelle, St. Petersburg, 1885; 

Aristaces of Lastivert, History [of Ar- 
menia] (in Armenian), Venice, 1844; 
and HovHAN Catholicos, History (in 
Armenian), Jerusalem, 1867. 

(3) L. Alishan, Sissouan, Venice, 
1899; E. Dulaurier, Hist, des Croisades, 
Documents armeniens, vol. 1, Paris, 1869; 
Ch, KoHLER, Histoire des Croisades, 
Documents armeniens, vol. II, Paris, 
1906; K. J. Basmadjian, Leo V of Lu- 
sigan, last king of Armenia, (in Arme- 
nian), Paris, 1908. 

— 407 — 

4. Leo I, 1129-1137, died 1141 at Constantinople. 
Rule of the Byzantines. 1137-1145. 

5. Thoros II, 1145-1169. 

6. Meleh, 1170-1175. 

7. Rupen II, 1175-1187. 

8. Leo n, 1187-1196, then as King Leo I, 1196-1219. 

II. Kings. 

1. Leo I, 1196-1219. 
Isabel, A.D. 1219-1252. 

2. Philip, 1222-1225. 

3. Hetum I, 1226-1270. 

4. Leo II, 1270-1289. 

5. Hetum IL 1289-1297. 

6. Thoros, 1293-1295. 

7. Sembat, 1296-1298. 

8. Constantine I, 1298-1299. 

9. Leo m, 1301-1307. 

10. Ochin, 1308-1320. 

11. Leo rV, 1320-1342. 

12. Guy or Constantine II, 1342-1344. 

13. Constantine III, 1344-1365. 
Leo the Usurper, 1363-1365. 

14. Constantine IV, 1365-1373. 
Marinm, 1373-1374. 

15. Leo V, 1374-1375, died 1393 at PariB. 

408 — 



Catholici of Etchmiadzin 


Grigor I the Illuminator, 




Aristaces I the Parthian, 




Verthanes I the Parthian, 



Houcik I the Parthian, 



Pharene I of Achtichat, 



Nerses I the Great, 



— — 




Chahak I of Manazkert, 




Zavene I of Manazkert, 




Aspuraces I of Manazkert, 




Sahak I the Great, 


— — 




Surmak (Anti-Patriarch) 



— — 



— — 




Berkicho the Syrian (Anti- 






Chemul the Syrian (Anti- 






Hosvep I of Hoghotzime, 




Melite of Manazkert, 




Movses I of Manazkert, 




Gut I of Araheze. 




Hovhannes I Mandakuni, 




Babguen I of Othmous, 




Samuel I of Artzke, 




Mouche I of Adaberk, 




Sahak II of Oughki, 




Christaphorus I of Tiraritch, 




Ghevond of Erast, 




Nerses II of Bagrevand 




Hovhannes II Gabeghian, 



Movses II of Eghivard, 574-604. 

Hovhannes of Bagaran (Anti- 
Patriarch), 590-611. 

Verthanes the Poet {locum 

tenens, 604-607. 

Abraham I of Aghbathank 607-615. 

Komitas I of Aghtsik, 615-628. 

Christaphorus II Apahuni, 628-630. 

Ezr I of Pharajnakert, 630-641. 

Nerses III the Builder, 641-652. 

— — 658-661. 

Anastasius I of Akori, 661-667. 

Israel I of Othmous, 667-677. 

Sahak III of Dzorapor, 677-703. 

Eghia I of Artchech, 703-717. 

Hovhannes III of Odzun, 712-728. 

David I of Aramonk, 728-741. 

Tiridates I of Othmous, 741-764. 

Tiridates II of Dasnavork, 764-767. 

Sion I of Bavonk, 767-775. 

Essai I of Eghipatruch, 775-788. 

Stephanus I of Dovine, 788-790. 

Hovab I of Dovine, 790-791. 

Soghomon I of Garni, 791-792. 

Gueorg I of Ochakan, 792-795. 

Hovsep II of Parpi, 795-806. 

David II of Kakagh, 806-833. 

Hovhannes IV of Ova, 833-855. 

Zacharia I of Dzag, 855-877. 

Gueorg II of Garni, 878-898. 

Matchtotz I of Eghivard, 898-899. 

Hovhannes V the Historian, 899-931. 

(1) Mgr. Malachia Ormanian in his 
work Eglise Armenienne (Paris, 1910) 
gives a list of the first preachers of the 
gospel in Armenia, viz: St, Thaddeus, 
martyred at Ardazus about A.D. 50; St. 
Bartholomew, martyred at Albacus about 
A.D. 68; St. Zakaria, martyred about 

A.D. 76; St. Zementos, died about A.D. 
81; St. Atirnerseh, martyred about A.D. 
97; St. Mousche, died about A.D. 128; 
St. Schachen, died about A.D. 154; St. 
Schavarche, died about A.D. 175; St. 
Ghevondios, martyred about A.D. 193; 
and St. Mehroujan 230-260. 

— 409 









Stephanus II Rechtuni, 
Tbeodorus I Rechtuni, 
Eghiche I Rechtuni, 
Anania I of Moks, 
Vahan I Suni, 
Stephanus III of Sevan, 
Khatchik I Archaruni, 
Sarguis I of Sevan 
Petrus I Guetadardz, 

Dioscorus of Sanahin 

Khatchik II of Ani, as 

(vacancy) , 

Grigor II or Vahram, 

Gueorg III of Lori, co- 

Sarguis of Honi (Anti- 

Theodorus Alakhocik 

Barsegh I of Ani as 

Poghos of Varag (Anti- 

72. Grigor III Pahlavuni, 

73. David Thornikian (Anti- 


74. Nerses IV the Gracious, 

75. Grigor IV the Younger, 

76. Grigor V or Vahram, 

77. Grigor VI the Wicked, 

78. Barsegh II of Ani (Anti- 


79. Hovhannes VI of Sis, 

80. Anania of Sivas (Anti- 


81. David III of Arkaka- 

ghine, coadjutor, 

82. Constantine I of Partzer- 


83. Hakob I the Learned, 

84. Constantine II of Katuk, 

85. Stephanus IV of Rum- 


86. Grigor I of Anavarza, 

87. Constantine III of 


88. Constantine IV of Lam- 


89. Hakob II of Tarsus, 

90. Mekhithar I of Grner, 

91. Mesrop I of Artaze, 

92. Constantine V of Sis, 













































Poghos I of Sis, 1374-1377. 

Theodorus II of Cilicia, 1377-1392. 

(Vacancy), 1392-1393. 

Karapet I of Keghi 1393-1408. 

Hakob III of Sis, 1408-1411. 

Grigor VIII of Khandzo- 

ghat, 1411-1416. 

Poghos II of Garni, 1416-1429. 

Constantine VI of Vahka, 1429-1439. 

Grigor IX Mussabegian, 1439-1441. 

Kirakos I of Virap, 1441-1443. 

Grigor X of Makou, 1443-1466. 

Karapet of Tokat, (Anti- 
Patriarch), 1446-1447. 

Aristaces II as coadjutor, 1448-1466 

alone, 1466-1470. 

Zacharia of Akhtamar 

(Anti-Patriarch) 1461-1462. 

Sarguis II, as coadjutor, 1462-1470. 

alone, 1470-1474. 

Stephanos of Akhtamar 

(Anti-Patriarch) 1467-1468. 

Hovhannes VII, as 

coadjutor, 1470-1474. 

alone, 1474-1484. 

Sarguis III, as coadjutor, 1474-1484. 

Aristaces III of Etch- 
miadzin, coadjutor, 
Thadeus I of Vaghar- 

chapat, coadjutor, 
Eghiche II of Etchmiad- 

zin, coadjutor, 
Hovhannes VIII of Etch- 

miadzin, coadjutor, 
Nerses V of Etchmiad- 

zin, coadjutor, 
Zacharia II of Vaghar- 

chapat, as coadjutor, 
Sarguis IV of Georgia, 

as coadjutor, 


Grigor XI of Byzantium, 1537-1542 
Stephanus V of Salmasd, 

as coadjutor, 

Michael I of Sivas, as 


Barsegh III of Etch- 

miadzin. coadjutor, 1549-1567 (?) 
Grigor XII of Vaghar- 

chapat, coadjutor, 1552-1570. 

alone, 1570-1587. 

Aristaces IV of Vaghar- 

chapat, coadjutor, 1555-1563 (?) 










— 410 

123. Stephanas VI of Arindj, 142. 

coadjutor, 1567-1575. 

124. Thadeas II, coadjutor, 1571-1575. 143. 

125. Arakel of Vagharchapat, 

coadjutor, 1575-1579. 144. 

126. David IV of Vaghar- 145. 

chapat, coadjutor, 1579-1587. 

alone, 1587-1629. 

127. Melchidesech I of Garni, 

coadjutor, 1593-1628. 146. 

128. Avelick, coadjutor, 1602 (?).l 620. 147. 

129. Grigor XIII Serapion, 148. 

coadjutor, 1603-1605. 

130. Sahak IV of Garni, co- 

adjutor, 1624-1628. 149. 

131. Movses III of Tathev, 1629-1632. 

132. Philip I of Albac, 1633-1655. 150. 

133. Hahok IV of Julfa, 1655-1680 151. 

134. Eghiazar I of Aintab 152. 

(Anti-Patriarch), 1663-1682. 

Eghiazar I of Aintab 153. 

(the same), 1682-1691. 

135. Nahapet I of Edessa, 1691-1705. 154. 
(Vacancy), 1705-1706. 155. 

136. Alexander I of Julfa, 1706-1714. 

137. Astvatzatour I of Ham- 

adan, 1715-1725. 156. 

138. Karapet II of Zeitun, 1726-1729. 157. 

139. Abraham II of Khochab, 1730-1734. 158. 

140. Abraham III of Crete, 1734-1737. 159. 

141. Ghazar I of Djahouk, 1737-1751. 

Hovhannes of Agoulis 

(Anti-Patriarch) 1740-1741. 

Petrus II Kntour (in- 
terim catholicos), 1748-1749. 

Minas I of Eghine, 1751-1753. 

Alexander II of Con- 
stantinople, 1753-1753. 

Sahak of Keghi (not 

consecrated), 1755-1759. 

Habok V of Chamakhi, 1759-1763. 

Simeon I of Erivan, 1763-1780. 

Ghoukas I of Erzerum, 1780-1799. 

Hovsep Arghouthian, 

(not consecrated), 1800-1801. 

David V Ghorganian 

(usurper), 1801-1804. 

Daniel I of Soumari, 1801-1804. 

Eprem I of Dzoraguegh, 1809-1831. 

Hovhannes VIII (IX) 

of Karbi, 1831-1842. 

Nerses V (VI) of 

Achtarak, 1843-1857. 

Matheos I Tchouhadjian, 1858-1865. 

Gueorg IV Kerestjian, 1866-1882. 

Nerses Varjapetian, (not 

consecrated). 1884-1884. 

Makar I Ter-Petrossian, 1885-1891. 

Mkrtitch I Khrimian, 1892-1907. 

Matheos II Izmirlian, 1908-1910. 

Guevorg V, present 

Catholicos, 1912- 

Catholici of Cilicia 

1. Karapet I of Tokat, 14461477. 

2. Stephanus I of Saradzor, 1478-1488. 

3. Hovhannes I of Antioch, 1488-1515. 

4. Hovhannes II of Telgu- 

ran, 1515-1525. 

5. Hovhannes III of Kilis, 1525-1539. 

6. Simeon I of Zeitoun, 1539-1545. 

7. Ghazar I of Zeitoun, 1545-1547. 

8. Thoros I of Sis, 1548-1553. 

9. Khatchatour I Tchorik, 1553-1560. 

10. Khatchatour II or Khat- 

chik of Zeitoun, 1560-1584. 

11. Azaria of Julfa, 1584-1601. 

12. Tiratour (Anti-Patriarch) 1586-1593. 

13. Hovhannes —do— 1588-1590. 

14. Petros I of Karkar, 1602-1609. 

15. Hovhannes IV of Aintab, 1602-1622. 

16. Minas I of Erzerum, 1622-1626. 

17. Simeon II of Sivas, 1626-1636. 

18. Nerses I of Sivas, 1636-1643. 

19. Thoros II of Sis, 1643-1658. 

20. Khatchatour III of Sivas. 1658-1673. 

21. David I of Aleppo (Anti- 

Patriarch), 1663-1673. 

22. Sahak I, 1673-1683. 

23. Azaria II (Anti-Patriarch), 1683-1688. 

24. Grigor I of Adana, 1683-1689. 

25. Astvatzatour I of Sassoun, 1691-1694. 

26. Matheos I of Caesarea, 1694-1701. 

27. Petros II of Aleppo, co- 

adjutor, 1701-1705. 

28. Hovhannes V of Hadjine, 1705-1721. 

29. Grigor II of Caesarea, 1721-1727. 

30. Hovhannes VI of Hadjin 

Ter-Adam, 1727-1734. 

31. Ghoukas I of Sis, 1734-1737. 

32. Michael I of Sis, 1737-1758. 

33. Gabriel I of Sis, 1758-1770. 

34. Ephrem I of Sis, 1771-1785. 

35. Thoros III of Sis, 1785-1791. 

36. Kirakos I of Sis. 1791-1822. 



Ephrem II, 




Michael II of Sis, 




Kirakos II, 



Kirakos III, 

1866-1871 (?). 


Mkrtitch I Kefsizian, 1871-1894. 
Grigoris Aleatdjian, (not 

consecrated ) , 1 895 . 

Sahak II Khaba'ian, 1902. 

Catholici of Akhtamar 


David I Thornikian, 




Stephanus I, 




Stephanus II Sefedinian, 



Zacharia I Sefedinian, 




Stephanus III Sefedinian, 




David II Sefedinian, 




Nerses I Polad, 




Zacharia II the Martyr, 




Nerses II, 




David III of Akhtamar, 




Zacharia III of Akhtamar, 

. 1434-1464. 



Stephanus IV Gurdji- 






Nerses III Curdjibeguian, 




Zacharia IV, 




Atom I, 




Grigoris I of Akhtamar, 




Grigoris II the Younger, 




Stephanus V, 



Karapet I, 




Martyros I of Moks, 



Hovhannes I, 




Thomas I Doghlanbe- 






Sahak I of Artzke, 




Hovhannes II, 




Hairapet I Verdanessian, 


Grigoris III of Gavach, 1711-? 
Hovhannes III of Haiotz 

Thomas II of Amuk ?-? 

Ghazar I of Moks, 
Grigor IV of Hizan, 
Paghtasar I of Bitlis, 
Sahak II of Albac, 
Hakob I of Amid, 
Nikoghaios I of Sparkert, 
Grigor V, 

Thomas III of Akhtamar, 1762 
Karapet II of Van, 1783 

Markos I of Chatak, 1788 

Hovhannes IV of Sparkert, ? 






Theodorus I, 
Michael I of Van, 
Karapet III of Chatak, 





Khatchatour I the Mir- 
acle-worker, 1803- 
Haruthium I of Taraun, 1816 
Hovhannes V of Chatak, 1825- 
Khatchatour II of Moks, 1844- 
Petros I Bulbulian, 1859- 
Khatchatour III Chiroian, 1864. 
Vacant from 1895 to the present 









Catholici of Aghouan 


Ehgiche the Apostle, 

died 79. 




X. X. consecrated by Grigor 


Nerses I, 

I the Illuminator, 



Simeon I, 


Grigoris I the Parthian, 





Matheos I, 





Sahak I, 



Hovsep I, 


Movses I, 



David II, 





David III, 





Matheos II, 


Zacharia I, 



Movses II, 


David I, 





Hovhan I, 



Soghomon I, 


Eremia I, 






500-551 (?). 


Soghomon II, 





Hovhannes III, 





Movses III, 


Zacharia II, 



David IV, 


Hovhan II, 



Hovsep II, 












Simeon II, 



David V, 



Sahak II, 



Gaguik II (Anti.Patriarch) 941-958 


Hovhannes IV, 



David VI 



David VII, 



Petros I, 



Movses IV, 



Markos I, 



Hovsep III, 



Markos II, 



Stephanos I, 



Hovhannes V, 



Stephanos II, 





Grigoris II or Caghik 

II, 1140-? 





Nerses II, 



Stephanos III, 

1155 (?). 1195. 


Hovhannes VI, 



Nerses III, 



Stephanos IV, 






Petros II, 






David VIII. 



Matheos III, 






Grigor I, 



Hovhannes VII, 



Matheos IV, 



Aristaces I, 



Nerses IV, 



Chmavon I, 









Aristaces II, 



Sarguis I, 



Grigor II, 



David IX, 






Hovhannes VIII, 



Chmavon II. 



Aristaces III, 






Simeon III, 



Hovhannes IX, 



Grigor III, 



Petros III, 



Simeon IV (Anti 





Eremia II, 






Nerses V (Anti 





Israel (Anti-Patriarch), 



Hovhannes X, 



Simeon V, 



Sarguis II Hassan-Djala- 



— — 

died 1828. 


Patriarchs of Jerusalem 


Abraham I. 



Abraham IV, 



Grigor I Ezekielan, 









Hovhannes II of Erzerum, 

, 1230-1238. 


Mkrtitch I, 



Karapet I of Jerusalem, 



Hovhannes I, 



Hakob I, 






Sarguis I, 






Astvatzatour I, 




David I. 



Abraham II, 



Poghos I, 







Grigor II, 



Hovhannes III, 










Grigor III, 






Mkrtitch II, 






Hovhannes IV of Poland, 



Essai I, 



Grigor IV of Egypt, 



Sahak I, 



Essai II, 



Abraham III of Jerusalem, 

, 1180-1191. 


Sarguis II, 



Minas I, 



Poghos II of Garni, 


— 413 


Martyros I of Egypt, 




Essai III, 



Hovhannes V, 




Abraham V, 







Petros I, 




Mkrtitch III, 




Hovhannes VI, 




Martyros II of Brusa, 




Petros II, 




Sarguis III, 



Astvatzatour II of Mardin, 



— — 








Andreas of Mardin, 



David II of Mardin, 




Grigor IV Margarian 






Astvatzatour III of 





— — 





i it 



Eghiazar of Aintab, 








Martyros III of Kafa, 



— — 




Hovhannes VII of Con- 





Mines II of Amid, 

Caloust, coadjutor, 

Grigor VI "Pitzak" 
Matheos of Caesarea, 
Martyros IV, 
Michael of Kharput 
Sahak II of Aboutchek, 

Hovhannes VIII of Smyrna, 
Hovhannes IX of Gandzak, 
Grigor VII of Chirvan 

Hakob II Nalian, 
Theodorus I, 
Karapet II of Gandzak, 
Poghos III of Van, 
Hovakim of Kanaker, 
Petros III of Tokat, 
Theodorus II of Van, 
Gabriel of Nicodemia, 
Zacharia Ter-Grigorian, 
Kirakos Mnatzakanian, 
Hovhannes X Movsessian, 
Essai IV Karapetian, 
Haruthioun Vehapetian, 



Patriarchs of Constantinople 



Hovakim of Brusa, 
Karapet I, 
Martyros I, 
Grigor I, 
Astvatztour I, 
Stephanus I, 

Hakob I, 

Hovhannes I of Diarbekir, 

Thomas I, 

Sarguis I of Zeitoun, 

Hovhannes II, 
Azaria of Julfa, 
Melchisedech I 
Hovhannes III 

of Garni, 
of Con- 

17. Grigor II of Caesarea, 





18. Zacharia I of Van, 

19. David, 

20. Kirakos of Erivan, 

21. Khatchatour I of Sivas, 

22. Thomas II of Aleppo, 

23. Eghiazar of Aintab, 

24. Hovhannes IV of Moghni, 

25. Martyros II of Kafa, 

26. Ghazar of Sivas, 

27. Hovhannes V, 

28. Sarguis II of Rodosto, 

29. Stephanus II of Meghri, 

30. Hovhannes VI of Amassia, 

31. Andreas of Constantinople, 

32. Karapet II of Caesarea, 


— 414 

33. Sarguis III. 

34. Thoros of Constantinople, 

35. Ephrem, 

36. Khatchatur II, 

37. Matheos I of Caesarea, 

38. Mekhisedech II "Soiibhi", 

39. Mekhithar, 

40. Avetik, 

41. Galoust of Amassia, 

42. Nerses I of Balat, 

43. Martyros III of Erzindjan, 

44. Michael of Kharput, 

45. Sahak of Aboutchek, 

46. Hovhannes VII of Smyrna, 

47. Hovhannes VIII of Gand- 


48. Hovhannes IX of Bitlis 


49. Hakob II, Nalian, 

50. Prokhoron of Silistria, 

51. Minas of Eghine, 

52. Gueorg I, 

53. Grigor III, Basmadjian, 

54. Zacharia II of Kaghizman, 

55. Hovhannes X of Hamadan, 
























































Daniel of Surmeli, 
Hovhannes XI of Baibourt, 

Grigor IV, 
Abraham of Tatheve, 
Poghos I, Grigorian, 
Karapet III of Balat, 
Stephanos III, Zacharian 

Hakobos Serobian 

Astvatzatur II of Constan- 
Matheos II, Tchoukadjian, 
Gueorg II, Kerestidjian, 
Sarguis IV, Couyounmd- 

Stephanos Maghakian, lo- 
cum tenens, 
Poghos II, Taktakian, 
Ignatios Kakmadjian, 
Mkrtitch Khrimian. 
Nerses II, Varjapetian, 
Harouthioun Vehapetian, 
Khoren Achekian. 
Matheos III, Izmirlian, 

Maghachia Ormanian, 
Eghiche Tourian, 
Hovhannes XIII, Archa- 

Zavene Eghaian, present 


1799 1800. 







— 415 — 


Chapter I. 

The two Ararals, view taken from the Araxes valley — 15 

The city of Samosata and the Euphrates, allegorical figure on an old coin _. 30 

Map: region of Lake Van — 31 

Map: position of the Armenian plateau compared to neighboring countries 34 

Map: the Armenian stronghold — — .. 35 

Map : Armenia in Roman times - 41 

Map: provinces of Greater Armenia - 43 

Map of the regions of western Asia inhabited by the Armenians 46 

Map of Cilicia 47 

The river Cydnus, allegorical figure on an old coin _ 48 

The river and city of Tarsus, allegorical figure on a coin of Emperor 

Commodus - - 48 

The river Pyramis, allegorical figure on an old coin — 48 

The city of Anazarbus, allegorical figure on an old coin — _ _ - 49 

Chapter II. 

Map: Armenia and adjoining countries, according to Herodotus _ _ 51 

Map: Migrations of the Armenians 52 

Coins ascribed to Croesus, king of Lydia — - - 55 

Vannic winged bull - - - — 58 

Map: Armenia and neighboring countries according to the Assyrians 60 

Ethnography of western Asia, from Genesis, chapter X _ 62 

Hieroglyphic inscription at Ani - 68 

Pagan Bas-relief at Bagrevant near Bayazid 71 

Double golden daric of the Achaemenids — 73 

Coin of the Achaemenean satrap Pharnabazus — 75 

Tetradrachma of Alexander the Great ~ 78 

Tetradrachma of Seleucus I Nicator 79 

Tetradrachmas of Antiochus the Great 81 

Coin of Sames, king of Cornmagene 81 

Coin of Charaspes, king of Armenia - 83 

Coin of Arsames, king of Armenia - — - - ~ — 83 

Coin of Abdissares, king of Armenia ~ — 84 

Coin of Xerxes, king of Armenia - 84 

— 417 — 

Chapter III. 

Effigy of King Tigranes II the Great, from a tetradrachma in the British 

Tetradrachma of Mithidrates the Great _ 86 

Drachma of the Parthian king Mithidrates II - — 88 

Tetradrachma of the Parthian king Orodes I - - 88 

Map: Kingdoms of the Pontus and Armenia during the wars with the 

Coin of Antiochus Theos, king of Commagene _ — - 93 

Tetradrachma of the Parthian king Phraat III .„ — 94 

Tetradrachma of king Tigranes II of Armenia — 98 

Bronze coin of Tigranes II _ _ - ~ 99 

Coin of the Parthian king Mithidrates III ~ — 100 

Coin of king Artavazd III of Armenia _ — 103 

Drachma of the Parthian ruler Pacorus I 103 

Tetradrachma of Phraat IV, Arsacid king of Persia ._ _ 104 

Denarius of Mark Antony and Cleopatra, ARMENIA DEVICTA ....„ 105 

Coin of Tigranes II, king of Armenia - 107 

Denarius of Augustus, ARMENIA CAPTA „. _ - 108 

Coin of Tigranes III, king of Armenia ~~ - 108 

Coin of Tigranes III, king of Armenia, with his sister Erato - 109 

Chapter IV. 

Drachma of Onones or Vodones as king of Persia ~ — 110 

Imitation of a denarius of Augustus struck in Transcaucasia 110 

Coin of Augustus and Artavazd V Ill 

Coin of Abgar XI of Osrhoene and Gordian III _ -~ 112 

Denarius of Germanicus with, reverse, the crowning of Artaxias 113 

Coin of Antiochus IV Epiphanus with lotape — _~ 114 

Coin of Antiochus IV Epiphanus, king of Commagene 114 

Coin with head of lotape, sister and wife of Antiochus IV Epiphanus 115 

Silver coin of Lucius Verus showing captive Armenia 116 

Bronze coin showing Lucius Verus giving Armenia a king _„ 116 

Coin of Antoninus Pius showing him crowning the king of Armenia 116 

Coins of Emperor Trajan commemorating his Armenian campaigns 117 

Tetradrachma of Vologeses I, Arsacid king of Persia 117 

Statue of Tiridates, king of Armenia (Louvre Museum) 119 

Drachma of Artaxerxe.s I, first Sassanid king of Persia _ _. 120 

Coin of Artaban V, last of the Arsacid kings of Persia „ _ 120 

The Zoroastrian Fire-Temple, reverse of a tetradrachma of the rulers of 

Persis .„ „.. — -. 121 

St. Gregory from a miniature of the 10th century 123 

Drachma of the Sassanid type of the Georgian Eristhaw Gourgen 129 

Drachma of the Sassanid type of the Georgian Eristhaw Stephanos I — 130 

Drachma of Sapor I, Sassanid king of Persia ...._ 131 

Coin of Vabalath, son of Zenobia, queen of Palmyra 132 

Coin of Zenobia, queen of Palmyra „ 132 

Gold coin of Chosroes II, Sassanid king of Persia _ 133 

Armenian inscription at Ani (A.D. 662) 134 

— 418 — 

Chapter V. 

Map : Arab Empire - - ••— ?^ ' 

Coin of the last Sassanid king of Persia, Yezdedjerd IV 1^» 

Coin of Constans II, Byzantine emperor -- 1^9 

Coin of Justin II, Byzantine emperor -. :_ - - — 1^'| 

Coin of Justinian II, Byzantine emperor -• 141 

Coin of the Oramiad Caliph Abd-el-Melek ~ •- - j^l 

Ruins of the Castle of Ani — -• • j^f 

Sketch-Map of the site of the city of Ani ~ - - -- 146 

Coin of Basil I, Byzantine emperor - — • — 1^9 

Castle of Khochab in Kurdistan .» ~ - -•• l^^ 

Armeno-Byzantine capital from Etchmiadzin - ~ 1^2 

Chapter VI. 

Map of the Ararat region - - - 1?^ 

Coin of Leo the Philosopher, Byzantine emperor - - ~ l^o 

View of the fortress of Van - — |^^ 

Plan of the former city of Melazkert — - - -• - 1^^ 

Coin of Constantine XI Porphyrogenetus ~ - ~ 1^2 

Miniature painting from an Armenian Gospel-book A.D. 966 _ - 162 

Tomb of king Ashot III the Charitable, at Horomos Monastery near Ani — 164 

Map: the Armenian kingdoms of the 10th century _ -. - - 16j 

Coin of David Curopalatus, king of Georgia (993-1001) 166 

View of the ramparts & chief gate of the city of Ani 

View of the castle of Ani taken from outside the city „ 

View of Ani cathedral _ 

Coin of Bagrat IV, king of Georgia, (1026-72) JJJ 

Coin of Giorgi II, king of Georgia (1072-89) ~~ - - ••- - l^l 

Gold solidus of Emperor Basil II — - ~ 1^1 

Coin of Gorige, king of Albania (1046-1082) -.. - 1^2 

Gold solidus of Emperor Michael IV the Paphlagonian _ - -- 176 

Gold solidus of Emperor Constantine XII Monomachus 177 

Coin of the Ortokid Sultans of Mardin ~ - - l^O 

Tombstone of Hairapet, Bishop of Siuniq -•• - - 1°6 

Chapter VII. 

Map of CUicia •••- - }^J 

Coin of Emperor Nicephorus Phocas - - - 1°^ 

Coin of John Zimisces ~ - — 1°^ 

Castle of Lampron in Cilicia — ~.~ - j^^ 

Coin of Alexis I Comnenus . — ~ - j^l 

Plan of the ruins of Aias — 1^1 

Plan of Megarsus _ — - - 1^2 

Plan of Alaya 1^2 

Plan of Side .„..„ - - ; ~ -• -• J^^ 

Coin ascribed to the Armenian rulers of Asia Minor — - 193 

Coin of unnamed baron of New Armenia - - •• 1^4 

Coin of Thoros, baron of Armenia — — ~ ~ - 194 

Coin of Tancred of Antioch -. — 196 

Coin of Baldwin of Edessa - - - 198 

— 419 — 


Coin of Alexis I Comnenus . — ....- - 198 

Coin of Raymond of Poitiers, prince of Antioch — „ _ 199 

Coin of Emperor John II Comnenus . — 199 

Coin of Emperor Manuel I Comnenus 200 

View of Castle of Anazarbus (Cilicia) 204 

Coin of Eimad-ed-Din Zangui, Sultan of Iconium 205 

Coin of Rokn-ed-Din Masaoud, Sultan of Iconium — - 205 

Coin of Emperor Andronicus I Comnenus ..- — 205 

Coin of Richard of Marasch - 206 

Plan of the Castle of Moute (Cilicia) 207 

Coin of Amaury I, king of Jerusalem - 207 

Coin of Sultan Nur-ed-Din Mahmoud _ ™. 208 

Coin of El Salih-Ismail, Zenguid Atabek of Aleppo 208 

Gold coin of Emperor Michael Ducas 209 

Coin of Kilidj-Arslan II, sultan of Iconium 210 

Coin of Emperor Isaac Angelus _ _ 211 

Coin of Bohemond III of Antioch . — 212 

Coin of Saladin (Salah-ed-Din) „ 212 

Coins of John of Brienne and the Holy Sepulchre — - 213 

Map: Latin principalities of the East 214 

Com of Leo II, baron of New Armenia _ 214 

Coin of Isaac Ducas Comnenus, despot of Cyprus _ _ _ _ 215 

Coin of Guy of Lusignan, first king of Cyprus _ 215 

St. Nerses (from the Armenian iconography) „ 216 

Signature of Leo I, first king of New Armenia _ _ — 218 

Handwriting of St. Nerses of Lampron on a Greek MS ~ 219 

Coin of Emperor Alexis Comnenus 220 

Coin of Henry of Champagne ~ 220 

Seal of Raymond-Rupen _„ 221 

Coin of Tripoli, without ruler's name _ _» -... 221 

Chapter VIII. 

EflRgy of Leo I, king of New Armenia „ ~ 222 

Coins of king Leo I — 223 

Gold Bulla of king Leo I ..- 224 

Gold coin of Hugh I, king of Cyprus 224 

Coin of Bohemond IV, prince of Antioch 225 

Coin of Raymond-Rupen, prince of Antioch - 225 

Coin of Theodore Lascaris, Emperor of Nicaea _.„ 226 

Imitations by the Crusaders of Moslem coins 226 

Coin of Kaikhosrou, Sultan of Iconium - 228 

Coin of Soleiman-Shah, Sultan of Iconium ~ 228 

Effigy of Hetum I, king of New Armenia „ - - 230 

Coin of Hetum I, king of New Armenia — 230 

Coins with names of Hetum I and Sultans of Iconium _... _ 231 

Handwriting of Hetum I - - 232 

Coin of Hetum I and Isabel _ — 233 

Seal of Constantine I, patriarch of Partzerpert ..._ „ 233 

Coin of Rousondan, queen of Georgia 233 

Coin of Kaikobad I, Sultan of Iconium 234 

Coin of Kaikhosrou II, Sultan of Iconium 234 

Coin of Mango-Khan 235 

Coin of David V, king of Georgia, and Mango-Khan — 235 

Coin of Honlago 235 

— 420 — 

Coin of Michael VIII Palaeologus, Byzantine emperor 236 

Coins of Leo II, king of New Armenia _ 236 

Coins of Emperor Andronicus II „ „ 238 

Signature of king Leo II ...._ 240 

Coins of Hetum II, king of New Armenia 241 

Seal of Brother Ian (Hetum II) 241 

Lead Bulla of Thoros _ 242 

Coins of Sempad, king of New Armenia „_ ...._ 242 

Coins of Constantine II. king of New Armenia _._ _ _ 243 

Map : Empire of Nicaea _ _ „ _.._ 244 

Coins of Leo III, king of New Armenia _. 245 

Coins of Ochin, king of New Armenia _.. 246 

Coins of Henry II of Lusignan, king of Cyprus „ 247 

Coins of Leo IV, king of New Armenia _„ „ 248 

Leo IV of Armenia administering justice, contemporary miniature painting 249 

Escutcheons of Tarsus „. _ „ „ 249 

Coin of Emperor Michael IX Palaeologus _ _ 251 

Coin of Emperor John V Palaeologus „ 251 

Coin of Emperor Andronicus III Palaeololgus „_ _ _ 251 

Coin of Guy of Lusignan (Constantine II), king of New Armenia 252 

Coins of Constantine III, king of New Armenia _ 253 

Coin of Dieudonne of Gozon, Grand Master of Rhodes „ „.. 253 

Coin of Peter I, king of Cyprus „ „.„ „ _ 254 

Coins of Constantine IV, king of New Armenia „ _ 257 

Coins of Leo V. of Lusignan, king of New Armenia _ 259 

Coin of Peter II of Lusignan, king of Cyprus „ „ „ „. 260 

View of the ruins of the city and castle of Gorigos 260 

Tombstone at Nicosia _ 261 

Plan of the port of Gorigos „ _ 261 

View of Castle of Gorigos _ 262 

Castle of Chahi-Maran ( Cilicia ) 263 

Ruins of the fortress of Sis „ 267 

Escutcheon on tombstone of Leo V. of Lusignan, king of New Armenia „. 272 

Tomb of Leo V of Lusignan, at St. Denis _. 272 

Seal and signature of king Leo V of Lusignan „ 274 

Chapter IX. 

Coin of Giorgi III. king of Georgia, with Al Moktafy 277 

Coin of Djelal-ed-Din, Sultan of Charesm „ 279 

Coin of David V. Solsan, king of Georgia _ 279 

Coin of Arghoun-Khan and Demetri II of Georgia 279 

Coin of Ghazan-Khan and Wakhtang HI, king of Georgia 279 

Coin of Bagrat V, king of Georgia „ 280 

Coin of Giorgi VIII, king of Georgia _ _ 280 

Georgian coin (uncertain) 14th century 280 

Coins of Erekle, king of Georgia 284 

Map : Russia's advances in Armenia _ _ „ 286 

Russian coin of Georgia _ „ _ 286 

Chapter X. 

Coins of Emperor Mauricius Tiberius 316 

Coin of Mauricius Tiberius, Constantine, and Theodosius 317 

Coin of Heraclius I, as Consul ._ _ 318 

— 421 — 

Coin of Heraclius I, as Emperor ~ 318 

Coin of Heraclius I, Heraclius Constantine, and Eudoxia 318 

Coin of Heraclius, Heraclius Constantine, & Heracleonas „ 319 

Coin of Heracleonas, David Tiberius, and Constans II 319 

Coin of Heraclius Constantine and Heracleonas — 319 

Coin of Heraclius I, Heraclius Constantine, & Martina 319 

Coin of Heracleonas alone — 319 

Coin of Constans II and Constantine Pogonatus „ „...» 320 

Coin of Constans II, Constantine Pogonatus, Heraclius and Tiberius _ 320 

Coin of Constans II, Heraclius, and Tiberius 320 

Coin of Constantine IV Pogonatus - 320 

Coin of Filepicus Bardanes _ - ~ 321 

Coin of Artavazdus and Constantine V ~ 321 

Coin of Artavazdus and Nicephorus _ 322 

Coin of Leo V the Armenian and Constantine VII - 322 

Coin of Leo V the Armenian alone — ~ 322 

Coin of Basil I, alone . — 322 

Coin of Basil I and Constantine IX 322 

Coin of Emperor Leo the Philosopher __— 323 

Coin of Leo VI and Alexander 323 

Coin of Leo VI and Constantine X -.. 323 

Coin of Alexander alone ~ - — — 323 

Coin of Constantine X and Zoe 323 

Coin of Constantine X and Romanus I 323 

Coin of Constantine X and Romanus II 324 

Coin of Romanus I alone 324 

Coin of Romanus I. Constantine X, and Christophorus — 324 

Coin of Romanus II alone - 324 

Coin of Romanus II and Basil II 325 

Coin of Empress Theophanon -.... 325 

Coin of Basil II and Constantine XI 325 

Coin of John Zimisces „ 325 

Coin of Constantine XI alone 325 

Coin of Theodora, wife of Constantine XII 326 

Coin of Theodora and Michael III 326 

Narses and Theodora (Mosaic at Ravenna) _ 327 

Sarcophagus of Isaac the Armenian _ 328 

Architectural design on the Church at Safar 337 

Chapter XI. 

Armenian Pharagir Writing _ 338 

Armenian carved stone, Ergathagir writing .„ _ „ 340 

Armenian Ergathagir writing of 10th cent. (966) „ 342 

Armenian Ergathagir writing of 10th cent. (989) _ 343 

Armenian Notragir writing, most recent form (1596) ....... 344 

Armenian Bolorgir writing „ „ _ 345 

Portrait of Monsignor Khriraian „ _ _ _... 360 

The Island of St. Lazarus at Venice _ _ — 363 

Stamp of the Armenian printer Hakob (Venice 1513) 364 

Page from the Calendar published at Venice in 1513 by the Armenian printer 

Hakob „ 366 

The Armenian printer Abgar of Venice presenting his psaltery to Pope IV 

Plan of the Church of St. Gregory (Zvartsnots), near Etchmiadzin 372 

— 422 

Plan of the present monastery of Etchmiadzin 373 

View of the Cathedral of Etchmiadzin 373 

Plan of the Cathedral of Etchmiadzin 374 

"View and plan of the church of St. Ripsime at Valarsapat 374 

Monastery of St. Varag at Van _ __ 375 

Church of St. Stepanos and monastery of Maghard _ ..._ 375 

Monastery of Narek _ „ „ 376 

Church of St. George at Ani .„ 377 

Church of Akhtamar, near Van ™„ 378 

Lion carved on the ramparto of Ani „_ 379 

Christ, the Virgin, and St. Gregory (stone carving at Ani.) _ _ 379 

Tombstones at Ani _ 380 

Armenian tombstones „ _ „ _. _ „ 382 

Descent from the Cross, (wooden carving in Etchmiadzin treasure-house) 383 

Carved door of Sevan monastery 383 

Falling Asleep of the Virgin, from Armenian iconography __. _ 384 

Miniature painting on Sissouan MS dated 1330 384 

Animals fighting (from Armenian iconography) „ 385 

The Virgin (miniature painting on MS of king Hetum II) 385 

Silver coin of Gourgen, Eristhaw of Georgia 386 

Coin of Bagrat IV, king of Georgia 386 

Coin of Giorgi II, king of Georgia - „ 386 

Coin of Giorgi III, king of Georgia, and Al Moktafy ™ _ „ 387 

Coin of Roussoudan, queen of Georgia - _ 387 

Coin of Giorgi VIII, king of Georgia „ 388 

Reliquary at Etchmiadzin ^ 389 

The Island and Monastery of Lake Sevan (Russian Armenia) 396 

Dragon (from Armenian iconography) „_ 398 

* * 
* * 

— 423 — 


Dedication „ _ 5 

Preface 7 

Foreword 9 

Chapter I. 

Physical features of Armenia. — Geography. — Generalities ....15-49 

Ararat, 15. — The Alagheuz, 16, — The Gheuk-tchai or Sevanga, 20. — The 
Araxes. 21. — The plain of Erivan, 22. — The Qara-bagh and the Qara-dagh, 24. — 
The plain of Moughan, 27. — Azerbaidjan, 28. — Persian Kurdistan, 29. — 
The Erzerum plateau, 30. — Lazistan and the Pontic Alps, 32. — Climate of the 
Armenian plateau, 34. — The Armenian stronghold, 35. — Southern Armenia, 
37. — Turkish Kurdistan, 38. — Western Armenia, 39. — Frontiers of Armenia, 
41. — The provinces of Armenia, 43. — Greater and Lesser Armenia, 45. — New 
Armenia or Sissouan, 45. — The three Armenias, 49. 

Chapter II. 

Origin of the Armenian people. — Sojourn of the Armeno-Phrygians in 
Thrace. — Their crossing into Asia. — Their march to the Ararat 
country. — Conquest of the Erzerum plateau. — The Haikian 
patriarchs. — The legendary dynasty. — Median ascendancy. — The 
kingdom of Armenia under Achaemenean suzerainty. — The Macedon- 
ian conquest. — The dynasty of Phraataphernes. — Rule of the 
Seleucids of Syria .50-84 

Armenian beginnings, 51. — The Armeno-Phrygians of Herodotus, 52. — The 
Armenians of the 12th to the 8th century B.C., 53. — The Iranians in the 8th 
century B.C., 54. — The Urartaeans not the ancestors of the Armenians, 55. — 
Armenian traditions concerning the kingdom of Urartu, 58. — Migration of the 
Armenians, 59. — Legendary dynasties, 62. — The invasion of the Scythians, 
65. — Conquest of Armenia by Haik, 65. — The Armenian language, 67. — 
The religion of the Armenians in ancient times, 69. — Armenia subdued by the 

— 425 — 

Persian Achaemeneans, 72. — The Anabasis of the Ten Thousand through 
Armenia, 75. — The Alexandrian conquest, 78. — Armenia under Alexander's 
successors, 79. — Erivan founded, 79. — Ervand (Orontes), governor of Ar- 
menia, 79. — Artaxias, king of Armenia, 81. — Zariadras, 82. — Numismatic 
records, Charaspes, Arsames, Abdissares, and Xerxes, kings of Armenia, known 
only from their coins, 83. sq. — 

Chapter III. 

Reign of Tigranes II the Great, — Lucullus and Pompey in Armenia. — 
The country divided by the Romans. — The last kings of the dynasty 
of Artaxias - — - — - 85-109 

Artavazd II, 86. — Tigranes II the Great, 87. — Mithidrates V. defeated by Sulla, 
89. — Lucullus, 90. — Battle of Tigranocerta, 91. — Recall of Lucullus, 94. — 
Pompey in Armenia, 95. — Submission of Tigranes II, 96. — Armenia under 
Tigranes II, 98. — Marcus Crassus in Asia, 100. — Artavazd III, 100. — Defeat of 
Crassns, 101. — Mark Antony in Asia, 104. — Alexander, son of Antony and 
Cleopatra, king of Armenia, 107. — Artashes II, 107. — Last successors of 
Artaxias, 108. — Tigranes III and Tigranes IV, 108. 

Chapter IV. 

The foreign dynasty {A.D. 2-53). — The Arsacids of Armenia {A.D. 53- 
429). — Tiridates II the Great {A.D. 217-238). — Conversion of 
Armenia to Christianity. — Saint Gregory the Illuminator 110-136 

Ariobaizanes, 110. — Artavazd V, 111. — Tigranes V, 111. — Erato, 111. — Vonones, 

111. — Artashes III, 112. — Archak I, 112. — Mithidrates, 112. — Rhadamistus, 

112. — Tiridates I, 115. — Corbulo, 116. — Tigranes VI, 116. — Exedares, 
117. — First Arsacids of Armenia, 118. — Tiridates II (Chosroes I), 118. — Ac- 
cession of the Sassanids to the Persian throne, 226. — Tiridates III and St. 
Gregory the Illuminator, 124. — Conversion of Armenia to Christianity, 124. — 
Founding of the Patriarchal See of Etchmiadzin, 127. — The Armenian Church, 
130. — Artavazd VI, 132. — Chosroes H, Tiran, Archak II, Pap, Varazdat, Archak 
III, Chosroes III, Vrampachouh, 132. — St. Sahak and St. Mesrop 133. — In- 
vention of Writing, 133. — Last Arsacid kings of Armenia, 135. — The Marzpans, 
135. — Vardan Mamikonian, 135. — Vahan Mamikonian, 136. 

Chapter V. 

The Arab conquest. — Armenia a province of the Empire of the 
Caliphs - -.- - 137-152 

End of the Sassanid Empire, Yezdedjerd IV, 138. — Abd-er-Raham enters Armenia, 
139. — Struggle between the Byzantines and Arabs in Armenia, 140. — Arab 
government set up in Georgia and Armenia, 142. — Ashot, governor of Armenia 
for the Arabs, 143. — Description of the site of Ani, 144. — Ashot, "prince of 
princes", (king of Ani), 148. — 

— 426 — 

Chapter VI. 
The Dynasty of the Bagratids - 153-186 

Origin of the Bagratids, 153. — Aehot I, 154. — Sembat I, 157. — Khatchik- 

Gaghik, king of Vaspurakan, 159 Ashot II, king of Ani, 161. — Abas, 163. — 

Ashot III, 163. — Division of Armenia into seven kingdoms, 165. — Sembat II, 
167. — Gaghik I, 168. — Sembat III, 172. — Arrival of the Turks in Armenia, 
173. — Armenian principality of Sivas, 174. — Gaghik II, 176. — Exile of Gaghik 
II, 177. — Assassination of Gaghik II, 179. — Taking of Ani by the Seljuk 
Turks, 182. — Role of the Armenian nobility, 184. 

Chapter VII. 

The Barony of New Armenia - 187-221 

Revolt of Rupen, 188. — Cilicia, 190. — Constantine I and Thoros I, barons, 194. — 
Arrival of the Second Crusade, 195. — Leo I, baron, 198. — Captivity of Leo I, 
200. — Thoros II, baron, 201. — Mleh, baron, 209. — Rupen II, baron, 211. — 
Leo II, baron, 212. — Arrival of the Third Crusade, 212. 

Chapter VIII. 

The Kingdom of New Armenia 222-274 

Leo I, king of Armenia, 222. — The Court of Armenia, 227. — The Commerce 
of the Armenians, 228. — Isabel, queen, 231. — Hetum I, king of Armenia, 232. — 
Leo II, king of Armenia, 237. — Helum II. 240. — Thoros, 242. — Sempad and 
Constantine, usurpers, 242. — Return of Hetum II to power, 244. — Leo III, 245. 
— Ochin, 246. — Leo IV, 247. — Guy of Lusignan (Constantine II), 250. — 
Constantine III, 253. — Constantine IV, 255. — Leo V. of Lusignan 258. — Leo 
V in Cyprus, 260. — Crowning of Leo V, 265. — Siege of Sis, 266, — Taking 
of Sis by the Moslems, 269. — Capitulation of the Castle of Sis, 269. — Captivity 
of Leo v., 270. — Liberation of Leo V, 271. — Death of Leo V, 271, 

Chapter IX. 
Armenia, after the loss of its independence 275-314 

Moslems' attitude to Christians in conquered countries, 275. — Turkish domina- 
tion in Armenia, 278. — The Mongols in Armenia, 278. — Persian rule, 281. — 
The Armenians appeal to Europe, 282. — Peter the Great and Catherine, 283. — 
Conquest of Upper Armenia by Russia, 285. — Treaty of Adrianople, 287. — 
Zeitoun, 290. — Treaty of San Stefano, 291. — Congress of Berlin, 292. — Cyprus 
Agreement, 293. — The causes of the massacres, 296. — Armenian nobility in 
the 20th century, 298. — The Patriarchs, 300. — The Young Turks, 303. — The 
massacres, 304. — The population of the Ottoman Empire, 313. — The Armenian 
population, 313. 

— 427 — 

Chapter X. 

The Armenians outside of Armenia. — The population of Armenia and of 
the Armenian Colonies - _ 315-337 

The Armenian Emperors of Byzantium, 315. — Manricius Tiberius, 317. — Flavius 
Heraclius I, 318. — Constans II, 320. — Constantine IV Pogonatus, 320. — Jus- 
tinian II, 321. — Tiberius IV, 321. — Filepicus Bardanes, 321. — Artavazdus, 321. 

— Leo V the Armenian, 322. — Michael III and Basil I, 322. — Alexander, 323. 

— Constantine X. Porphyrogenetus, 323. — Romanus I, 324. — John Zimesces, 
325. — Constantine XI Porphyrogenetus, 325. — Armenian Empresses and 
Princesses, 326. — The Armenian officials of the Greek Empire, 326. — The 
Bagratid dynasty of Georgia, 327. — The Armenians in Persia and Constantinople, 
328. — The Armenians in Poland, 330. — The Armenians in western Europe, 333. 

— The Armenians in India and the Far-East, 334. — The Armenians in Venice, 
the Mekhitharists, 334. — The Armenians in Russia, 334. — Russian administra- 
tion of the Armenians, 335. — The Armenians in America, 336. 

Chapter XL 

Literature, Science, and Art among the Armenians — 338-391 

Ancient writing of Asia, 338. — Armenian writing, 340. — Mesrop, 341. — Ancient 
Armenian literature, 345. — Moses of Khoren, 351. — Liturgical poetry, 352. — 
Secular poetry, 353. — Armenian troubadours, 355. — Modem Armenian litera- 
ture, 356. — Armenian versification, 362. — The Sciences, 363. — Printing, 364. 

— Newspapers and Reviews, 364. — Music, 368. — The Stage, 370. — Architec- 
ture and Sculpture, 370. — Frescoes and Icons, 381. — Illumination of Manu- 
scripts, 381. — Coining of money in Georgia, 385. — The industrial arts, 389. 

— Dancing, 391. 

Chapter XII. 

Events in Armenia, since the fall of the Czar's government in Russia 
(1917-1918) '. - -- 392-397 

* * 

— 428 


Chronology. — Remotest times. — Legendary data, 401. — Historical data. Earliest 
times, 402. — First Period of Independence, 402. — Rule of the Seleucids, 402. 
Second period of Independence, Dynasty of Artaxias, 402. — Foreign Dynasty, 
402. — Arsacids of Armenia, 403. — Persian Rule, Marzpans or Governors-Gen- 
eral, 403. — Governors-General of Byzantine Armenia, 404. — Arab rule, Os- 
tikans or Governors-General, 405. — Third Period of Independence, Dynasty 
of the Armenian Bagratids, 407. — Fourth Period of Independence, Dynasty of 
the Rupenians in New Armenia, I, the Barons, II. the Kings, 407-8. 

Ecclesiastical Chronology. — Catholici of Etchmiadzin, 409. — Catholici of Cilicia, 
411. — Catholici of Akhthamar, 412. — Catholici of Aghouan, 412. — Patriarchs of 
Jerusalem, 413. — Patriarchs of Constantinople, 414. 

430 — 

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